Indian contractor Hindustan Construction Company Ltd is using four Sandvik DT 820 underground drill rigs to construct the country’s first underground crude oil storage cavern, at Vizag in southern India.
Four Sandvik DT 820 underground jumbo drill rigs are being used for the construction of India 's first underground crude oil storage cavern, located at Visakhapatnam in southern India, with two Sandvik DX 700 surface drill rigs also being used benching work in the same site.
The cavern is being constructed under a Rs 375 crore (US$75.5 million) contract by Mumbai-based Hindustan Construction Company Ltd (HCC) for Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited, a subsidiary of the Oil Industry Development Board under the Petroleum Ministry.
Located at a hill named Dolphin’s Nose, the cavern is being constructed on land belonging to the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam (usually abbreviated to Vizag), and will have a storage capacity of 1.33 million tonnes of crude.
Vizag, located on the east coast and considered the eastern gateway to India, was selected as the site because it has a large seaport for the import of oil. Adjacent to the cavern site is Southeast Asia’s first underground LPG storage cavern, commissioned early last year and which also used Sandvik jumbos during construction.
HCC began work on the cavern in January of last year and is working to a 36-month schedule. The contract covers detailed engineering and design, underground excavation, access tunnels, water curtain galleries, main storage caverns, shafts and associated underground civil works.
The contractor’s project manager Ramana Rao says that there are two caverns for the storage of the crude, both 30 m in height and 20 m wide, together with associated tunnelling. High-sulphur crude will be stored in one cavern. Complete length of the underground works is more than 3 km, and the amount of rock