Solar power for the world’s longest crude oil pipeline


Cairn Oil & Gas, India’s largest private oil and gas exploration and production company, has announced that its Mangala crude oil pipeline will now be switched to solar.

The Mangala pipeline is the world’s longest continuously heated and insulated pipeline that runs from the oil fields of Rajasthan to the refineries in Gujarat, traversing 705 km. The 24-inch oil pipeline has 36 above-ground installations (AGIs) located along its route to serve as pipeline heating installations and pigging stations. [Pigging refers to the practice of inspecting and cleaning the pipelines using devices known as “pigs.”]

The Cairn team at Mangala has initiated the project to install rooftop solar photovoltaics on the available area of AGIs in a phase-wise manner. It targets to install solar rooftops in all 36 AGIs by 2025 with the goal to shift the complete AGI load to solar energy.

“The overall capacity to be set up at AGIs by 2025 is 540 kW (36 rooftop solar installations of 15 kW capacity each). The current requirement of energy at each AGI to run programmable logic controllers (PLCs), lighting, and other auxiliary facilities is 40 kW, which is taken from the grid. The solar installations will reduce the grid electricity consumption by 15 kW at each AGI,” Prachur Sah, deputy CEO of Cairn Oil & Gas, told pv magazine.

So far, Cairn has installed 13 AGIs with a solar rooftop capacity of 15 kW each. These installations are cumulatively reducing approximately 270 tons of CO2 emission per year. Cairn plans to install solar on ten AGIs each year to complete the project by 2025 and achieve a total GHG reduction of 770 tons of CO2e/annum.


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