India’s first cavern for emergency oil reserves comes up in Vizag

Visakhapatnam (IANS) India’s first underground rock cavern on the eastern coast for storage of crude oil to hold country’s emergency reserves will be dedicated to the nation next month, officials said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will commission the project developed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), a special purpose vehicle floated by the Oil Industry Development Board, in this port city in Andhra Pradesh.

Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Minister on Thursday reviewed the arrangements for Modi’s visit.

He visited the cavern built under Dolphin Hills and held talks with ISPRL CEO Rajan Pillai and other officials.

The facility comprising natural cavern and concrete tanks has the capacity of 1.33 million metric tons (MMT) including 0.3 MMT chamber for use by Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), officials said.

ISPRL has invested Rs.1,178 crore in the project while HPCL has spent Rs.265 crore.

This is one of three strategic crude oil storages being built by ISPRL. Two other storages are coming up at Mangalore and Padur (near Udupi) on the western coast.

The capacity of all the three facilities will be 5 MMT while the total cost is estimated to be Rs.4,098 crore.

Filling up these caverns with crude will require more than Rs.25,000 crore.

During his visit to Visakhapatnam, Modi will also inaugurate expansion project of Visakhapatnam steel plant, which will take the overall capacity of the plant from 3 million tonnes to 6.3 million tonnes.

Union Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar visited the steel plant earlier this week to review the arrangements for Modi’s visit.

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