(EnergyAsia, August 22 2012, Wednesday) — Indian infrastructure builder Punj Lloyd said it has secured a 3.3-billion rupee contract from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.  Punj Lloyd will provide process facilities and utility services for an underground crude oil storage cavern being constructed on the country’s west coast. (US$1=55 rupees).

The cavern, sited near the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) complex in Mangalore city in Karnataka state, is designed to store up to 1.5 million tonnes of crude oil when completed by 2014. Comprising two identical underground caverns, each measuring 900 metres in length, the facility will store crude oil for use by the refineries of MRPL, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL).

“This is the first cavern project for the group and has been awarded by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves (ISPR), a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,” said Punj Lloyd.

The company will be tasked to provide a range of services including engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning of systems for crude oil receipt, pumping out, metering, recirculation, heating, waste water treatment, utilities production, flaring and operation buildings.

P.K. Gupta, a Punj Lloyd director, said:

“We have constructed over 300 tanks globally, with over eight million m3 of storage capacity. We are proud to be a part of this strategic initiative of the Indian government to build reserves of crude oil at important locations, which will feed a cluster of refineries.”

The Indian government has set a plan for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to stockpile 5.33 million tonnes of imported crude oil in various locations around the country to meet at least 15 days of domestic consumption.