Gujarat Ports - Gateways for Inland States
Gujarat, situated off Arabian Sea has been endowed with a coastline of 1600 kms representing nation's one third of the waterfront making it strategically located to be able to cater to the vast central and northern Indian hinterland. Acronyms such as Maritime State of the country, 'Numero Uno' state in the Maritime sector of India, or "Gateway of India" have been accredited in the name of Gujarat for its tremendous growth in the Maritime sector.
Whenever any marine facility gets developed, not only do the benefits get accrued to the organization promoting it but the entire region where such facility is developed gets some or the other benefit. Two projects; one developed and one soon to be operational can be said as the important achievements for GMB because these projects will not only benefit the economy of Gujarat and the organizations promoting it, but the benefits are also to fall in the lap of neighbouring states of Gujarat. Gujarat has provided its coastline for setting up of the marine facilities for the projects that are set up in the neighbouring states.
These projects address one of the important objectives of Gujarat Maritime Board, i.e. providing marine facilities to landlocked states of India. These two projects are (i) Development of SPM at Sikka for import of crude for Bina Refinery to Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd. and (ii) SPM at Bhogat by Cairn India Ltd. for transportation of raw crude to Mangalore refinery through sea route. Let's have a deeper look at what these projects are and what benefits would they tow in with themselves.
Bharat Oman Refineries Limited (BORL), a company promoted by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL); a Central Government PSU has set up 6 MMTPA Grass Root Refinery at Bina, in Sagar district located in Madhya Pradesh, Crude Oil Terminal in Singach village at Jamnagar and Single Point Mooring (SPM) facilities at Sikka in the Gulf of Kutch.
The Crude Oil required for the refinery will be received at Crude Oil Tankfarm through the SPM facility and pumped to Bina refinery through Cross Country Pipe Line of 935 Kms. The facility created in GMB waters is like a mother station of Bina Refinery which is a strategically located in central part of the country. This SPM facility in Gujarat is proposed to be of immense help for maintaining the petroleum product supply to the country in case of any exigencies since the refinery is located in the heart of the country.
In a way it is proposed to reduce import of petroleum products subsequently saving the forex reserves of the country due to improved freight rates available. Creation of direct and indirect employment due to setting up of refinery in Madhya Pradesh has led to development of rural areas of Madhya Pradesh. These marine facilities at Sikka are successfully operational since November 2009.
Another facility is also a SPM developed by Cairn India Ltd (CIL) in Joint Venture (JV) with Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) which has been actively involved in exploration of hydrocarbon resources in RJ-ON-90/1 block in the state of Rajasthan over the last several years. The massive exploration programmes undertaken have resulted in a number of oil and gas field discoveries including the giant Mangala oil field. The crude oil production from Mangala and other discovered fields is likely to contribute more than 20% of India's current crude oil production in the coming years. CIL, as operator of the block on behalf of the JV, started production from the Mangala field in year 2009. The oil is currently being transported from Barmer to Salaya through a continuously heated and insulated pipeline, called as Barmer-Salaya Pipeline (BSPL-Phase-I).
The crude oil pipeline along with the related facilities has been extended to the Arabian Sea Coast near Bhogat in Jamnagar district to support marine tanker loading infrastructure in the Arabian Sea. The Phase-II extension of BSPL consists of Salaya-Bhogat Pipeline (SBPL), Crude Oil Tankfarm (COT) at Bhogat and export pipelines and Single Point Mooring (SPM) system off the coast of Bhogat.
Similar to various benefits brought in by the marine facilities of BORL; when operational, the marine facilities at Bhogat will enable movement of crude oil through marine tankers that would help in reduction on import bill of crude oil and petroleum products resulting in savings of foreign exchange along with economical development of the area by way of development of roads and infrastructure, social development of the area by way of income generation opportunities, community development of the area by way of various community development plans including schooling and transport carried out by Cairn India Ltd.