PTI reported that Essar Steel is mulling re routing the 267 km long pipeline from Chhattisgarh to Visakhapatnam due to insurgency in the region.
Sources said that it is now mulling the idea of re-routing the pipeline as in the absence of protection, it has become a soft target for insurgents disrupting its operations on and off.
A company source said that “The options are either to relay a new pipeline or re-route the existing pipeline.” He said the permanent solution to the problem was to look at routing the pipeline, critical for the sustained operation of the pellet plant, through a safer route. However, he declined to further elaborate on the plans.
Insurgency has been continuously affecting the operations of Essar Steel, which makes long products at its Hazira plant. Pellets from Vizag are used to make steel.
The pipeline, longest in the country, passes through three states Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Essar Steel’s iron ore beneficiation plant in Kirnadul beneficiates the raw material and then it is pumped through the slurry pipe line to Visakhapatnam to convert them into pellets. Pellets are key raw materials for sponge iron and corex iron making technologies.
Essar relies on the pipeline for transporting materials since it is the most environment-friendly way of transporting material at an economic cost.