New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday lay the foundation stone of the country's longest LPG pipeline that will cater to cooking fuel needs of a fourth of the country's population, said Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is laying an 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-kilometre pipeline to Gorakhpur via Ahmedabad (in Gujarat), Ujjain, Bhopal (in Madhya Pradesh), Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Lucknow (in Uttar Pradesh).
"The pipeline possibly is the longest LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) pipeline in the world," Pradhan said adding the pipeline would be laid at a cost of Rs 9,000 crore.
The pipeline will carry 3.75 million tonne per annum of LPG. 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 here. 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.
"Prime Minister will on February 24 lay the foundation stone of the pipeline project that will supply LPG to 22 bottling plants along the route," he said.
IOC in its application to oil regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) for laying the pipeline had in 2016 stated that: "The demand for LPG is increasing consistently in recent years. Further, due to the Government of India's emphasis to make LPG - a clean and environmentally friendly fuel, available to every domestic household in the country, LPG demand is expected to increase at a much steeper rate in the coming year."
It 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 had said.
IOC 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 ie Jamnagar-Loni pipeline, there is no LPG pipeline in existence or in construction to link West Coast to Central India or Eastern India," it had said.
The proposed pipeline will connect eight of IOC's LPG bottling plants in Central and Northern India. It will also supply LPG to bottling plants of other companies such as BPCL and HPCL.
IOC caters to nearly half of the country's 26 crore LPG consumers.