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No need for panic, enough LPG stock: Deora

By Super

New Delhi, Oct 25: The government today said there is 15 days of reserve stock of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for use in the country and the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have already floated tenders to procure the fuel from abroad in an eventuality of a shortage after a fire that broke out in the Reliance Refinery at Jamnagar, Gujarat.

''There is no need for any panic'', Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said here after assessing the situation a day after a fire broke out in the refinery which produces 25 per cent of petroleum products used up within the country.

He said the OMCs have been asked to pitch in through more imports if needed. Also, tenders have been floated by these PSUs which could be materialised if the need arises for imports.

Mr Deora said Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has conveyed that they have 10 to 12 days reserve stocks in the refinery.

The refinery at Jamnagar has begun working at 100 per cent capacity output and there will be no shortage in any of its stations including Liqueified Petroleum Gas (LPG), company sources today said.

Reliance Refinery the biggest in the country and one of the largest in the world supplies at least 25 per cent of petroleum products to the country, was caught in a blaze yesterday morning and there were apprehensions that it may hit supplies to consumers.

Meanwhile the government has said at least 65,000 tonnes of LPG could be imported to offset any shortfall of the fuel in the aftermath of the blaze. Other oil marketing companies, HPCL, IOC.

BPCL etc have been asked to pitch in their supplies to tide over shortfalls.

The fire broke out yesterday morning at about 1040 hrs at the secondary processing units (VGO Hydrotreater - II) of the refinery.

One of the Reliance personnel was injured seriously. There were no other casualties reported.

The fire has been 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.

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 per cent).

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 working 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.



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