The country’s first strategic massive crude oil storage facility, being developed in the underground rock caverns in Visakhapatnam, will be commissioned by January 2015. The Union government has also decided to set up 5.03 million metric tonnes strategic crude oil storages in Vizag, Mangalore and Padur (both in Karnataka) by floating a Special Purpose Vehicle owned by the Oil Industry Development Board. The Vizag facility, spread across 67 acres, will be able to store 1.33 million tonnes of crude oil. The storage facility will comprise a 7.5-km long tunnel with several compartments to store various grades of crude. The Vizag project will cost Rs 1,038 crore.
The roof of these rock caverns will be 162 metres below sea level. The Vizag project will costs Rs 1,038 crore.
With the Vizag facility becoming operational, India will join countries like the US, Japan and China that have strategic reserves. Around 13 lakh tonne of petroleum reserves can be stored in the cavern, which is adequate to support the country’s fuel needs for 90 days if there are any disturbances to the external oil supply in case of any global eventuality.
The project was supposed to be commissioned by October this year, but Hudhud delayed the plans. “The work on Vizag facility is progressing at a brisk pace. There were some mechanical issues and also some minor damages due to Hudhud, which led to the delay. We now plan to commission the project by January next year. This project is very important for the country’s energy needs,” ISPRL CEO and MD, Rajan K. Pillai told this newspaper.
The project has been delayed by two years due to various issues. The Vizag facility was launched in January 2008 and supposed to be commissioned by 2012.