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Govt ensures no gas shortage after Refinery fire

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 25: The government today said one lakh tonnes of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) will be imported to offset any shortfall of the fuel in the wake of a blaze that broke out in the morning at the Reliance Refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat and was brought under control in two hours.

Reacting to the fire that broke out at the refinery in Jamnagar, one of the biggest in the world, Petroluem Secretary M S Srinivasan said that efforts were on to procure one lakh tonnes of LPG through imports. Other oil marketing companies, HPCL, IOC. BPCL etc have been asked to pitch in their supplies to tide over shortfalls.

Earlierv Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said the fire had created a shortfall of 1.2 lakh tonnes of gas and added that the government would ensure that there is no shortage of LPG.

''Our concern is only LPG,'' Mr Srinivasan said. hrs The fire broke out this morning at about 1040 at one of the secondary processing units (VGO Hydrotreater - II) of the refinery at Jamnagar.

One of the Reliance personnel was injured seriously. There are no other casualties. The fire was brought under control by Reliance Plant and Fire Fighting personnel in less than two hours.

The exact extent of damage to the VGO Hydrotreater II unit, which is one of the 40 units in the refinery complex, is being assessed, company sources said.

As a pre-cautionary measure, the neighbouring Diesel ydrotreating Unit II has been shut down safely. ''We expect to re-start the same shortly. All other refinery units, including both the crude units and petrochemical units, are operating normally,'' Reliance sources said.

Jamnagar refinery is India's largest oil refinery and after the capacity expansion Reliance would become the country's largest refinery surpassing state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC).

It is also the only refinery in the country which is able to process a wide variety of crudes - from very light to very heavy (from 18 to 45 degree API) and from sweet to very heavy (with sulphur content from 0 to 4.5 percent).

The Jamnagar refinery currently produces 11 million tonnes of diesel, 4 million tonnes of naphtha and petrol each, 3.6 million tonnes of jet/avaition turbine fuel/superior kerosene oil, 2.3 million tonnes of LPG, 2.7 million tonnes of reformate and 2.5 million tonnes of petroleum coke.

In 2004-05, Reliance exported 10.2 million tonnes of petroleum products, up from 7.5 million tonnes in the previous year.

The company started work on the Rs 9,700 crore refinery project in 1996 and completed it in less than 30 months. The original construction of the refinery was lead by Bechtel. Construction was carried out by a number of Indian companies such as Larsen&Toubro (L&T), Dodsal, Punj Lloyd, Trafalgar House and Simplex.

UNI

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