IOCL lays 3.1 km-long petroleum pipeline beneath the Godavari

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has successfully laid one of the longest petroleum pipelines across the Godavari near Rajahmundry, marking a one-of-its-kind engineering feat.

IOCL’s pipelines division laid the pipeline through Advanced Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD).

Among Asia’s longest

The pipeline, which is 16 inches in diameter and 3.1 kilometres long, has been pulled through the Godavari’s riverbed at a scour depth of 20 metres via a trench-less drill path in six months, making it one of the longest HDD river crossings in Asia, IOCL officials said.

The small stretch of pipeline laid was part of the 723 km-long Paradip-Hyderabad Pipeline Project (PHPP) in Andhra Pradesh taken up by IOCL about seven months ago. The HDD pipeline crossing was achieved on July 17.

“It was the most critical part of the entire project because of the width of the river and the complexity in laying the pipeline beneath the riverbed. Also, it took great effort and care,” IOCL’s Deputy General Manager (Constructions) B.V.S. Prasad told The Hindu.

“It is the longest 16-inch petroleum pipeline HDD crossing in Asia and second longest HDD to be laid for a single stretch of 2.2 kilometres in the country,” he said.

Though it is not the first petroleum or gas pipeline laid across the Godavari, it is unique and experimental in the way it was carried across by drilling a 3.1-kilometre horizontal bore in two segments —2,200 m and 900 m — to pass the pipeline across. The two segments were later tied up, explained officials.

Innovative project

“Two pipelines of other corporations are running across the river on a bridge built exclusively for the purpose. There was no space to accommodate another pipeline on the bridge and IOCL had ventured to use the HDD technology which was nothing short of an experiment,” said Project Engineer M. Vamsi Sri Krishna.

The project was executed by Dezhou Shengli Pipeline Crossing Engineering India Private Limited which used two high-capacity HDD drilling machines which were placed on an island in the river from where the trench-less bores were drilled. Over 80 persons, from engineers to labourers, worked on the project.

The PHPP traverses for 723 kilometers in Andhra Pradesh and 55% of it has been achieved, according to officials. Once finished, IOCL will be able to transport petroleum products like diesel and petrol from its refinery in Paradip to Hyderabad and other locations in between effectively.

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