Mangaluru, Oct 12, 2016 : The Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has received the first parcel of crude oil for delivery into the Mangaluru cavern of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL). The first parcel of 2,60,000 MT of Iran Mix crude was received in Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) MT Dino and started pumping into the Mangalore cavern for testing the facilities. The testing phase may go up to a month and half.
Dakshina Kannada district MP Nalin Kumar Kateel switched on the pump at MRPL Single Point Mooring (SPM) Booster Pump Station and the first parcel of crude delivery into the Mangaluru cavern of ISPRL got underway on Wednesday.
To ensure energy security, the Union government had decided to set up 5.33 million metric tons (MMT) of strategic crude oil storages at three locations namely Vishakhapatnam, Mangaluru and Padur near Udupi.
These strategic storage locations will serve as a cushion during any external supply disruptions. The strategic crude oil storage facilities are being managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL), a Special Purpose Vehicle, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. Vishakhapatnam facility, and with a 1.33 MMT capacity, was commissioned in June 2015. The Mangaluru facility, with a capacity of 1.5 MMT, has started receiving crude for testing the facility from Wednesday. Padur facility, with a 2.5 MMT capacity, is expected to be ready by the end of this year.
Speaking to reporters regarding the storage capacity, Rajan K Pillai, chief executive officer and managing director, ISPRL, said out of the 1.33 MMT storage facility at Vishakapatnam, 1.03 MMT is strategic and has been filled, and 0.3 MMT is regularly being used by HPCL.
The Mangaluru facility has the capacity of 1.5 MMT and there are two compartments of .75 MMT each; of these, one is being filled. “Once the storage is filled, the testing process will go on at the cavern. This is for the first time that crude is going into the cavern. To fill the cavern, three parcels of VLCC are required. The second carrier is expected to arrive by Oct 24 and the last one by the third week of November,” said Pillai.
Speaking about the Padur facility in Udupi, which is expected to be complete in the next two months, Pillai said the facility with the storage of 2.5 MMT, has four compartments of .625 MMT each.
Padur is connected by a pipeline from Mangaluru. Referring to future projects, he said there was an initial proposal for 12.5 MMT at four locations but no approvals have been received yet. Talks are on for setting up a facility in Chandikhole in Odisha and Bikaner in Rajasthan, however, decisions are pending.
All the three caverns put together can take care of the consumption for 13 days, while the Mangaluru cavern can support MRPL for 36 days approximately.