Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited (ISPRL) is making all efforts to commission its 1.33 million metric tonnes (MMT) project at Vishakhapatnam by April 2014. At a recent meeting to discuss the project progress, it was noted that the action plan with respect to the excavation in the rock fall area has been finalised and work is in progress. Hindustan Construction Company – the underground contractor for the project — has assured that the excavation shall be completed by August end and final barrier would be ready for casting by mid October subject to the aboveground contractor finishing the job of hot oil circulation pipe in cavern A1.
However, the progress of the aboveground contractor Indian Oil Tanking Infrastructure and Energy Services Limited (IOTIESL) is a cause for concern. The matter was taken up by the Company with the Contractor to increase manpower and resources at site and achieve mechanical completion by October 31, 2013. Thereafter, six months time is required for commissioning. The Company officials informed the Board members that there is a need for the aboveground contractor to work on a round the clock basis but the contractor was not doing the same. All underground works have been completed except the final barrier in cavern B.
In the meeting, it was decided that the petroleum ministry officials will take up the matter with the contractor and stress upon the urgency to finish the project by end-October. Further EIL, the Project Management Consultant, was asked to ensure that there are no more slippages and the project should achieve Mechanical completion as scheduled.
The PMC contract to EIL was valid till April 30, 2013. It was initially envisaged to be executed as a single contract and the capacity of the cavern was 1 MMT. With these conditions, EIL had estimated a total man months for site supervision would be 319. Subsequently, the methodology was revised and the job was split into two contracts and the capacity was also enhanced to 1.33 MMT. Thus there was a substantial increase in site supervision man months. Since ISPRL does not have manpower to supervise and certify execution of works by the contractors, the contract with EIL for Visakhapatnam has been extended up to 31st March 2014.
ISPRL has undertaken construction of strategic crude oil reserves of 1.33 MMT capacity in Vishakhapatnam, 1.5 MMT capacity in Mangalore and 2.5 MMT in Padur at a total cost of Rs. 2,763 crore. On May 25, 2013, overall progress at Visakhapatnam project was 93.1 per cent, progress at Mangalore was 82.4 per cent and was 81 per cent at Padur.