Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister Petroleum and Natural Gas invited companies to develop 6.5 million tonnes (MT) of crude storage capacities across the country, as the Centre aims to increase crude and petroleum products storage capacity from existing 74 days to 90 days.
India’s existing strategic petroleum reserve facilities are located in Visakhapatnam (1.3 MT), Mangaluru (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT). As per the consumption pattern of FY20, the storages can provide for about 9.5 days of crude oil requirement. State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) can stock for another 64.5 days.
The government has already given ‘in-principle’ approval for building two additional storage facilities with total capacity of 6.5 MT under the public-private partnership model at Chandikhol, Odisha (4 MT) and Padur, Karnataka (2.5 MT). According to sources, the government is looking for prospective partners like financial investors, foreign oil companies, and large construction firms to build the proposed oil reserves.
There is also a possibility to enter into a concessionaire agreement with these partners for the construction, filling and operation of these facilities. “We are also exploring overseas crude storage facilities in the US and other commercially viable locations”, Pradhan said, speaking at a conference on energy security organised by Global Counter Terrorism Council.
To reduce imports, the Centre is planning to develop alternative fuels such as ethanol, second generation ethanol, compressed bio gas (CBG) and biodiesel.