OdishaPlus Bureau

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently dedicated to the nation two new LPG bottling plants, at Champaran and Banka in Bihar, along with the Durgapur-Banka section of the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline through a VC. Among the other dignitaries who joined him on the occasion were Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that the Government of India is committed to ushering in a new era of progress in the state of Bihar. He mentioned that the PM package given for Bihar included 10 major projects related to petroleum and gas and about Rs. 21,000 crore was to be spent on these projects. He also shared that the work on seven such projects has already been completed.

PM Modi added that  the infrastructural development has been one of the key focus areas in the PM’s Bihar Package. Expressing his happiness over the timely completion of the 193-km long Durgapur-Banka LPG pipeline section, Modi said “I had laid the foundation stone for this project less than 1.5 years back. I am told that the completion of this stretch of the pipeline was extremely challenging as this pipeline navigates 10 major rivers, approximately 10 km stretch of the forest, and very hostile, rocky, and undulating terrain. This is indeed a salute to the innovative engineering practices as well as active support of the State and Central Governments that this project has come through in time and will immensely benefit the citizens”.

He also mentioned that several infrastructure projects in the petroleum sector in Bihar, including the Rs. 14,810 crore project for expansion of Barauni refinery capacity, is in full swing and the fertilizer plant at Barauni is also being revived. He said, “While the Durgapur-Banka link is being dedicated to the nation today, work on the extension of Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG Pipeline onward from Banka to Patna and Muzaffarpur are underway too”.

Highlighting the success of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjala Yojana, PM shared that under the scheme, over 8 crore poor families have been benefitted across the country. Acknowledging the critical role of Oil Companies in ensuring uninterrupted supply of LPG to households during the lockdown, PM Modi said “I heartily congratulate the oil & gas companies, their staff and associates like the LPG delivery men, who are truly Corona Warriors, and have gone beyond all odds to ensure supply of LPG cylinders to all households during the lockdown”.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Modi joined the meet

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in his address, thanked the Government of India for the concerted drive to ensure that the clean fuel of LPG reaches the poorest of households in the state. He said that over 85 Lakh families in Bihar have got a free LPG connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and this has truly emancipated the women from the harmful kitchen smoke. He also acknowledged the importance of the free cylinders given under PMGKY during the 3 months of lockdown from the perspective of the poorest sections of society. The Chief Minister added that 25% of families in Bihar had LPG connection 2014 and presently, the penetration has gone up to 77%.

Dharmendra Pradhan said that the Government of India is committed to the progress of Bihar under the guidance of honorable PM who has envisioned Mission Purvodaya that aims to accelerate the development of eastern India. Pradhan also said that these three new projects are a part of the Mission Purvodaya. He added that Mission Purvodaya also envisages expansion of Barauni Refinery with Rs.14000 crores and the work has already commenced. Pradhan also shared that Bihar will have access to the longest LPG pipeline of the world. Gorakhpur and Muzaffarpur will be connected to this pipeline that will cater to 45% of India’s LPG Demand. He emphasized that Aatmanirbharta of India is closely linked to the Aatmanirbharta of Bihar.

It may be noted that the 120-TMTPA LPG bottling plant of HPCL at Harsidhi in East Champaran district, built at a cost of Rs.136 crore, has a bottling capacity is 85 lakh cylinders per year. The plant, for which the Hon’ble Prime Minister had laid the foundation earlier in April 2018, will serve over five lakh LPG customers in the districts of East Champaran, West Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Siwan, Gopalganj, and Sitamarhi in Bihar, and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh.

The second LPG bottling Plant at village-Masudanpur between Banka and Bhagalpur, built at a cost of Rs. 132 crore by IOCL, also has 120 TMTPA capacity and is capable of bottling 40,000 cylinders a day. It will serve 35 lakh customers in the districts of Bhagalpur, Banka, Jamui, Araria, Kishanganj, and Katihar in Bihar, and Godda, Deoghar, Dumka, Sahibganj, and Pakur districts in Jharkhand. Both the plants together will provide direct and indirect employment to over 1,000 people.

The 193-km Durgapur-Banka LPG pipeline section is an extension of the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur pipeline (679 km) to the new LPG bottling plant at Banka. This section has a throughput capacity of 2.1 MMTPA and was constructed for Rs. 441 crore. The pipeline is linked to IOCL’s Paradip and Haldia refineries as well as the LPG import terminal at Haldia. The Durgapur-Banka pipeline section will provide a crucial logistics link in providing LPG cooking gas to lakhs of households in Bihar under the Ujjwala Yojana.

It is planned to ultimately connect the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline and its augmented sections with the world’s longest LPG pipeline, i.e., the Kandla-Gorakhpur pipeline (2828 km), currently under execution. This will be achieved by laying the Muzaffarpur-Gorakhpur link pipeline (277 km). Once interconnected, the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline system (3.5 MMTPA throughput capacity) and the Kandla-Gorakhpur LPG pipeline system (8.25 MMTPA throughput capacity) together will transport about 45% of the total LPG demand of the country to nearly 30 bottling plants in seven States.

The extensive pipelines systems will bring a lot of flexibility in bulk LPG movement by connecting the east coast (Paradip and Haldia) with the west coast (Kandla, Pipavav, Dahej, and Mundra import facilities) as well as with five refineries (at Paradip, Haldia, Barauni, Koyali, and Bina).

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