DIGBOI, April 16 - The Assam Oil Division (AOD) Digboi Refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has reached yet another milestone, with the installation of a new plant at the refinery in its 117th year of operations.The new Crumb Rubber Modified Bitumen (CRMB) plant was unveiled by Dr Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
A ceremony was held on April 14 in the presence of other OPEC officials – Hasan Hafidh, head of the Public Relations and Information Department, Nadir Guerer, senior research analyst, and Herwig Steiner, also of the Public Relations and Information Department – and senior officials of Indian Oil and AOD Digboi Refinery and employees.
On the occasion, Barkindo praised both IOCL and AOD Digboi for taking the step towards evolving CRMB as a special product.
During a tour of the refinery that included pit stops at the 1928 vintage Wax Moulding Shed and the historic Still, Barkindo said, “I am on a pilgrimage,” as he stood to look at the Oil Discovery Well No 1 and the vintage refining equipment exhibited inside the Digboi Centenary Museum Complex.
He said he had heard the name Digboi multiple times since his student days, and always wanted to visit the place. “A dream has been finally fulfilled as I have got the honour and privilege to visit the birthplace of this noble industry (oil) that fuelled the current civilisation and will continue to do in the foreseeable future.”
“I congratulate the management of IOCL, Digboi and the Government of India for preserving this prized history,” he added.
The OPEC team was given a guided tour of the museum by Sabeena Chowdhary, who explained in detail about the discovery of oil in the remote corner of India. Each of the OPEC team members planted a fruit-bearing tree inside the museum complex.
“Contrary to some views, the petroleum industry devotes its maximum priority, time and resources in the care and concern for the environment. I am extremely honoured on being able to participate in this meaningful action of tree plantation that too in this revered birthplace of oil,” Barkindo said.
The OPEC team also visited the Digboi War Cemetery and offered tributes.