• IOC finds a short cut through Bangladesh to send fuel tankers to Tripura

    Indian Oil Corporation will invest around Rs 6.50 billion in expanding its storage and bottling capacity in Tripura over the next three years as it looks to prevent fuel crisis in the state. Indian Oil-AOD, the company’s North East division, will also start moving a convoy of 20 tankers by the end of this month to the North Eastern state for the first time via Bangladesh to avoid the dilapidated NH-44 in Assam.

    “Apart from exploring new routes to supply fuel for ending the crisis in Tripura, we are looking to increase the storage capacity in the state. We are working on both the possibilities so that common people do not suffer there,” Indian Oil Corporation Executive Director (Indian Oil-AOD) Dipankar Ray told PTI. For this purpose, the company will set up one Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant (POL) depot and a new bottling plant in Agartala, he added.

    “The POL depot will incur an investment of around Rs 5 billion, while Rs 1.43 billion have been estimated for setting up the bottling plant over the next 2-3 years. The investment includes land cost as well and the land parcels have already been identified for both the units,” Ray said. In Tripura, the company has a POL depot at Dharmanagar with a capacity of around 6,000 kilo litre (kl) and an LPG bottling plant at Bishalgarh with a capacity of 30,000 million tons per annum in double shifts.

    “The existing two facilities are not enough to cater to the growing demand of fuel in Tripura. So we have decided to expand our capacities by setting up new units. “The new POL depot will have an installed capacity of 32,000 kl, while that for the bottling plant will be 60,000 million tons a year, expandable up to 1,20,000 million tons,” he added. During monsoon in May-June this year, Tripura faced unprecedented fuel crisis as supply was badly hit due to pathetic road condition of NH-44 at Barak Valley in Assam and thousands of tankers were stranded on roads for weeks.

    The situation forced IOCBSE 0.95 % and Tripura government to scout for alternate ways to supply fuel in addition to augment the storage capacity. “One of the options that we already started is roll-on roll-off, where tankers are transported by open rail wagons from Bhanga in Assam to Churaibari in Tripura. However, this system is not economical for us as transporting 24 tankers one way cost us Rs 3,90,000,” Ray said. Jonathan Allen Jersey

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