UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday commissioned Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd's Rs 1,757 crore Mundra-Delhi pipeline, which will help the nation's second-largest oil firm to transport petrol, diesel and kerosene to the northern part of the country.
The 1,054-km pipeline, built in just 36 months, is one of the country's longest cross-country oil-product pipelines and has been commissioned under the common carrier principle wherein 30 per cent of the capacity can be accessed by companies other than HPCL.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Union Petroleum Minister Murli Deora were present at the function held here.
HPCL will pump Euro-II and Euro-II grade petrol, diesel and kerosene from the Gujarat coast to the national capital through the 18-inch pipeline. Besides HPCL, private sector Essar and state-run IndianOil Corp (IOC) may also use the pipeline.
Official sources said the pipeline, built at no over-run in cost or time, kept the supply lines in the north running when a strike by executives of oil PSUs had almost choked them.
The pipeline connects supply centres in Gujarat in the west to the consumption areas in the western state (Gujarat), Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and further north.
The pipeline would consolidate HPCL's presence in northern India, where it currently has no oil refinery.
HPCL has about 8,033 petrol stations in the country, selling close to 11 million tonnes of fuel annually. Of this, only 5-6 million tonnes is produced at the company's Mumbai and Vizag refineries and the rest is sourced from ONGC's Mangalore and Essar Oil's Vadinar refineries.