Andhra, K’taka to have huge oil storage caverns

Union petroleum minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Monday that a massive underground strategic oil storage facility was being built in the port city of Visakhapatnam to help India tide over international crises that may affect fuel supplies to this country. It will be ready in four months, the minister said.

“Around 13 lakh tonnes of petroleum reserves can be stored in the cavern, which can support the country’s fuel needs for 90 days during any global eventuality,” he added.
Besides Vizag, the government is setting up another such facility in an underground rock cavern at Mangalore in Karnataka. These will be in addition to existing stores of crude oil and petroleum products with the oil companies, and will be of help in case of short-term supply disruptions during global crises.
“I was there at the cavern yesterday and it was a spectacular sight. I was overwhelmed to see such a massive underground storage which is as tall as a 10-storey building. I wish to be here in Vizag again within three to four months to commission it,” Mr Reddy said.
The minister was in Vizag to dedicate to the nation HPCL’s Clean Fuels Project, costing `2,200 crores, which would be useful in producing Euro-IV standard fuels.
Vizag already has an underground facility to store LPG. A joint venture of HPCL with French oil major Total, the Cavern Marine Terminal can hold 60,000 million tonnes of LPG. Built at a cost of `333.3 crores, it was completed in 2007.

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