Paradip: Maintenance work began by following COVID-19 preventive measures at the Paradip Refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) during shutdown of its running units, a senior official said on Wednesday.
The refinery will be shut down till August 15.
Inaugurating the three-tier Safety Surveillance System, TDVS Gopalakrishna, Executive Director and Refinery Head, emphasised on enhanced safety and health measures to ensure an incident-free shutdown during the present COVID-19 pandemic.
While going for the shutdown maintenance since Tuesday evening, the Paradip Refinery is attaching utmost precaution to safety, a press release said.
As part of the measures, all the 1,200 experts who have arrived from different parts of the country were quarantined on arrival, the release said.
The IOCL had arranged for swab testing of all the persons and only COVID-19 negative persons are being allowed to take part in the maintenance job, it said.
Asymptomatic cases are being treated at IOCL, COVID Care Centre, set up at an isolated area.
Some of the persons who have recovered from COVID-19 have expressed willingness to donate plasma which will help in the treatment of critical coronavirus patients in Odisha, it said.
As per COVID norms, during the 14-day quarantine, swab test is done only for symptomatic cases, whereas the IOCL is conducting 100 per cent testing for outside workers.
This has been done to ensure that the infection does not spread to the villages.
It has also been decided that local contract workers, who will come in contact with skilled workers from outside, will stay at Temporary Medical Centres (TMC) of 11 panchayats during the shutdown period.
Since the last planned maintenance shutdown in March 2018, all the units were operating continuously.
"After running for over two years it has become absolutely imperative to go for maintenance work of critical equipment of the refinery," Gopalakrishna said.
Though shutdown was initially planned during April this year, the decision was deferred due to outbreak of novel coronavirus and nationwide lockdown, a statement issued by the refinery said.
The necessity of maintaining an uninterrupted supply of petro products, including LPG, during the lockdown period also led to a consensus to defer the shutdown.
With the Centre easing lockdown restrictions, economic activity is gradually picking up along with consequent demand for petro products, the release said.
The 15TPA Paradip Refinery plays an important role in supply chain management of petro products not only within the country but it also exports petro products to neighbouring countries.
To bolster the "neighbour first policy', the Paradip Refinery has recently shipped 15 TMT of 95 RON (research octane number) MS (motor spirit) to Bangladesh.