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January 29, 2001
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IOC, Reliance restart oil, petchem plants

Indian Oil Corp and Reliance Petroleum said on Monday refining and petrochemical plants affected by a devastating earthquake in western India were gradually returning to normal operation.

A spokesman for state-run IOC said that a key oil products pipeline running from Kandla port to Bhatinda was not damaged in the earthquake and work was underway to restore the power supply for pumping.

"As of now, there is no report of any damage. The main pumping unit and pipeline are not damaged," Subir Raha, director for corporate communications at IOC, said.

Raha said there were some faults in water supply units linked to the pipeline that runs to Bhatinda in northern India. A generation set already had reached Kandla in quake-ravaged Gujarat on Sunday to restore the power supply.

"It (pipeline) should start pumping on the 30th night or 31st morning (of January)," he said.

He said that another pipeline linking IOC's Koyali refinery with Ahmedabad was functioning normally. The 13.6-million tonne per year Koyali plant has been running as usual despite the quake on Friday.

A spokesman for the Reliance group said power at the group's refining and petrochemical complex in Gujarat had been fully restored.

"Power systems and other utilities are fully restored," the spokesman for India's largest private refiner said.

He said the group's petrochemical unit run by Reliance Industries Ltd at Hazira and the refining unit run by Reliance Petroleum at Jamnagar were gradually returning to normal in a "phased startup".

"A number of plants are working," the spokesman said.

He said about 8,200 units of various sizes were involved in operations and they were being restored to normal operation in stages.

Reliance's Jamnagar refinery has a capacity of 27 million tonnes per year.

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