DIBRUGARH, Jan 29 � The Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) today said that its LPG recovery plant at Lakwa in Sivasagar district would be converted to supply feedstock for the petrochemical unit of the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) being set up at Lepetkata here.
Denying media reports that the plant was being shut down, GAIL in a press release said that there is no such plan and the plant is only being converted for supplying feedstock to the petrochemical unit and would continue to function under BCPL. Allegations of employment curtailment were also brushed aside by GAIL.
Towards implementation of the Assam Accord, the Government of India had entrusted GAIL the responsibility of setting up the petrochemical plant which is coming up at a cost of Rs 8,920 crore.
The project is being executed by BCPL, a joint venture company of GAIL, Oil India Limited (OIL), Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and the Government of Assam. GAIL is the major stakeholder in the project with a 70 per cent share.
BCPL is in the process of commissioning the petrochemical plant, and to make it operational and viable, supply of natural gas from OIL, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and naphtha from NRL has been arranged for feedstock. To make the project viable, gas available in and around the Lakwa region is also being considered for making it available as feedstock to BCPL.
Since gas available at Lakwa was to be processed for producing C2+ feed, economics were worked out for transporting natural gas vis-a-vis C2+ feed through pipeline from Lakwa to BCPL at Lepetkata with respect to the capital cost. It was found that transportation of C2+ feed is economical.
Hence, it was decided, in the larger interest of the project, to convert the existing LPG plant to C2+ recovery unit for BCPL. More facilities, in terms of gas sweetening unit, DM water plant, boiler, enhanced nitrogen plant, air plant, etc, are being set up in the existing premises at Lakwa to convert the LPG plant into C2+ recovery unit.
GAIL clarified that as the Lakwa plant will continue to operate with change in product, requirement of majority of contract workers will still exist and contractors will be persuaded to continue with the workers as and when any change in contract takes place.
With respect to apprehension that there would be shortfall in the supply of LPG to Assam and the North East region, it may be mentioned that GAIL had informed Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) in the beginning of the project about the conversion of GAIL�s LPG plant into C2+ recovery unit by BCPL.
The IOCL, on behalf of the Ministry of the Petroleum and Natural Gas, is taking necessary action to ensure that there would be no shortage in supply of LPG in the state.