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TN CM dedicates 683-km-long petroproduct pipeline to nation

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IndianOil to save Rs 59 cr a year in transportation costs

It can carry 1.8 million tonnes of petrol, diesel and kerosene a year, or the same amount of petroproducts that 500 trucks would carry each day.

THE TAMIL NADU Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, inaugurating the IOC's Chennai-Tiruchi-Madurai petroleum product pipeline, in the presence of the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Mr Murli Deora, the Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Mr T.R. Baalu, and the IOC Chairman, Mr Sarthak Behuria, at a function in Chennai on Monday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , June 26

The Chennai-Tiruchi-Madurai (CTM) petroproduct pipeline of Indian Oil Corporation was formally dedicated to the nation on Monday by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi.

The 683-km-long pipeline, along with the storage tanks at Tiruchi and Sankari, costs Rs 409 crore.

It can carry 1.8 million tonnes of petrol, diesel and kerosene a year, or the same amount of petroproducts that 500 trucks would carry each day. It would also save IOC Rs 59 crore a year in transportation costs.

Plea for extension

Speaking at a function held to dedicate the CTM pipeline to the nation, both the Chief Minister and the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, (who spoke ahead of Mr Karunanidhi) made a plea for extending the pipeline beyond Madurai.

Mr Chidambaram wanted the pipeline to be extended to Kanyakumari and also a Chennai-Pondicherry pipeline to be built.

Mr Karunanidhi, who later said that those were also his very demands, wanted Mr Chidambaram to make funds available and also see the `project' through.

Other demands

He wanted supply of natural gas from Krishna-Godavari basin (off Andhra Pradesh coast) to Tamil Nadu and speedy implementation of the Ennore LNG project.

(The 5-million-tonne LNG terminal and re-gassification project of IOC has been hanging fire over the issues of LNG supplies and prices. Senior officials of the Petroleum Ministry say that the project's implementation would depend upon softening of global LNG prices.)

Mr Chidambaram spoke of the challenges faced by the Petroleum Ministry in the face of rising crude prices and asked for people's "sympathy and understanding".

The IOC Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Sarthak Behuria, and the company's Director, Mr A.M. Uplenchwar, said that another product pipeline would be built between Chennai and Bangalore.

They noted that the CTM pipeline had to be built across 510 road, railway and waterway intersections and sometimes against challenging weather conditions.

Speakers stressed that transporting petroproducts through pipelines was the safest, least-cost and easiest means of moving the fuels and also the best way to prevent adulteration.

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