Reliance commissions world's largest ethane project in record time

Reliance Industries on Wednesday announced the successful completion of its ethane project, including commissioning of its ethane receipt and handling facilities and ethane cracking, at its Dahej facility in Gujarat.

The project was completed in a world record of less than three years, RIL claimed in a statement.

Reliance also claims to be the first company to globally to conceptualise large-scale imports of ethane from North America as feedstock for its cracker portfolio in India.

The project involved seamless integration of several elements across a complex infrastructure value chain. This includes securing ethane refrigeration capacity in the US Gulf coast; delivery of dedicated Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs) to carry ethane from the US Gulf Coast to the West Coast of India.

Besides it required construction of ethane receipt and handling facilities, laying of pipelines and upgrading crackers (to receive ethane) at Dahej, Hazira and Nagothane manufacturing facilities, RIL said in its statement.

''This successful start-up underlines ours ability to build world-scale capacities and infrastructure using complex technologies, such as marine transportation of cryogenic ethane, handling of ethane at (-) 90 deg. C, supply of ethane to the crackers in an energy efficient way and pump ethane from Dahej to other locations.

''The execution of this project at this scale and magnitude is a first in the world. The shale gas industry in North America has grown exponentially in the past five years. Consequently ethane has become one of the most competitively priced feedstock for US crackers,'' RIL said.

''The supply of ethane to our crackers at Dahej, Hazira and Nagothane will provide feedstock security and flexibility, enabling us to select the most optimal feed mix based on market conditions. This will improve the cost competitiveness of our existing crackers and enable us to optimise the portfolio in a volatile market environment,'' it added.