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CPCL considering Cuddalore for proposed refinery complex

9 September 2008
Special Correspondent
THE HINDU

Preliminary feasibility studies have been completed

CHENNAI: Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) is considering Cuddalore for setting up its proposed 15 million tonne green field refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex, instead of Ennore.

The move by the Indian Oil Corporation group company comes in the backdrop of restrictions on establishing facilities, where hazardous products will be handled, around a stipulated radius of the Pulicat Lake. Since Ennore comes under the restricted zone, the company is looking at Cuddalore, CPCL managing director K.K. Acharya told reporters after the company's 42nd annual general meeting here on Monday. Earlier in his speech at the meeting, IOC and CPCL chairman Sarthak Behuria said preliminary feasibility studies for the proposed refinery had been completed.

Answering queries, Mr. Acharya said the company was planning to set up a Single Buoy Mooring (SBM), at an estimated cost of Rs.700 crore instead of laying a new crude oil pipeline from the Chennai port to the refinery in suburban Manali.

An SBM, he added, would help receive Very Large Crude Carriers.

The detailed feasibility report would be ready by this year-end.

The decision of CPCL to look at an SBM followed the difficulties encountered in getting the Right of Way for the pipeline, he said. The pipeline was to be taken along the proposed expressway from the Chennai Port to Ennore, which, according to Mr. Acharya, was held up because of the issue. From the SBM, crude oil would be transferred through the pipeline to CPCL's tanks, he added.

On the one million tonne refinery of CPCL in Nagapattinam, he said it was operating at only 40 per cent of its capacity for want of adequate indigenous crude. With crude supplies from the PY-3 fields proving to be inadequate, CPCL had written to the Centre seeking allotment from the Ravva fields under the control of a private oil producer.

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