State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) plans to lay the nation's longest LPG pipeline from Gujarat coast to Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh to cater to growing demand for cooking gas in the country.
IOC plans to import LPG at Kandla in Gujarat and move it through the 1,987 kilometer pipeline to Gorakhpur via Ahmedabad (in Gujarat), Ujjain, Bhopal (in Madhya Pradesh), Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Lucknow (in Uttar Pradesh).
The pipeline will carry 3.75 million tonne per annum of LPG, IOC said in an application to the sector regulator PNGRB seeking approval for the pipeline project. LPG will be fed into the pipeline at Kandla port as well as IOC's Koyali refinery in Gujarat. This will be the biggest LPG pipeline in the country. GAIL currently operates a 1,415-km line from Jamnagar in Gujarat to Loni near New Delhi.
The line carries 2.5 million tonne of LPG annually. GAIL also has a 623-km Vizag-Secunderabad pipeline. IOC also has a 274-km pipeline from Panipat in Haryana to Jalandhar.
"The demand for LPG is increasing consistently in recent year. Further, due to Government of India's emphasis to make LPG - a clean and environmental friendly fuel, available to every domestic household in the country, LPG demand is expected to increase at much steeper rate in the coming year," IOC said in the application.
IOC expected the deficit between what its refineries produce and the demand to reach about 10 million tonne per annum by 2031-32. LPG demand has grown 10.5 per cent this fiscal with just about half of the 8.4 million tonne consumed being locally produced.
"Considering the deficit figures for LPG, it is essential to import LPG at the nearest port and then transport it to the bottling plants through the most economical modes," IOC said.
IOC said it is building additional import capacities at Paradip, Cochin and Kandla to meet the increasing requirements of imports.
"West coast remains most suitable to import LPG to met the demand of North and Central India. Though there is a common carrier pipeline to link West Coast to North Jamnagar-Loni pipeline, there is no LPG pipeline in existence or in construction to link West Coast to Central India or Eastern India," it said.
The proposed pipeline will connect eight of IOC's LPG bottling plants in Central and Northern India. The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has sought 'expression of interest' from companies wishing to take capacity in the pipeline. 25 per cent of the capacity will be reserved for third parties. IOC caters to nearly half of country's 18 crore LPG consumers.