Cargill plans a pipeline to transport imported crude edible oil

Cargill India is restructuring its network to transport crude edible oil from Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) to its processing plant at Kurkumbh village in Maharashtra's Daund area.

The first phase of the project covers transporting imported unrefined sunflower oil from JNPT to an inland tank terminal, set up near its processing facility, via rail. The project also entails the construction of storage tanks at a site 15 km away from the plant, and the shifting of the railway line to this site to facilitate the train movement from the port to this location. The distance between the site and the plant will be bridged through a pipeline. This is the first time a pipeline is being laid to transport edible oil in India.

The company will save costs once the project is complete. A single freight train replaces deliveries equal to 120-130 truck trips. 

The company’s Kurkumbh plant imports about 200,000 million tonnes (mt) of crude edible oil annually. The unrefined oil reaches the nearest port at JNPT, which is about 200 km away. Currently, the movement is designed to be multimodal, where the longer haul (from the port to Daund) is through dedicated railway movement, while the short haul (15 km one-way from Daund to the plant) is via road tankers. 

“The first phase, comprising the transportation of oil via rail, has begun while connecting the final leg through a pipeline will be taken up in the second phase,” said Deoki Muchhal, managing director, Cargill’s food business in India. 

The project has been set up and managed by Stolt Rail Logistics. So far, crude edible oil was being moved by road tankers, making 800 trips in a month, to and fro over 400 km. This has been reduced to 30 km in the first phase itself, leading to a massive reduction of carbon footprint through lesser emissions on the roads, besides bringing in huge predictability in supplies, enabling Cargill to bring bulk movements at one go, Muchhal said. This project is for transporting imported unrefined sunflower oil, which Cargill sells under the Gemini brand in India. 

Muchhal said, “The idea behind implementing this project comes from Cargill’s foresightedness to go green. Considering that transportation is the most important element in the supply chain, we are the only company in the industry which transports crude in train and not by diesel-operated trucks. The project will ensure a reduction in contamination risk, reduction in CO2 emissions by reducing dependence on polluting heavy vehicles, along with ensuring better predictability of supplies and cost.”

On the fast track
  • Pipeline will join refining plant to a site 15 km away, where rail link will end
  • A single freight train replaces deliveries equal to 120-130 truck trips  
  • So far, road tankers were making 800 trips a month, to and fro over 400 km
  • The company’s Kurkumbh plant imports about 200,000 million tonnes of crude edible oil annually

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel