This paper highlights the design challenges encountered during the project execution phase of HMPL’s Mundra - Bathinda Pipeline (MBPL), a crude import pipeline for feeding Guru Gobind Singh Refinery of HMEL at Bathinda in Punjab State. For the first time in India, a cross-country pipeline was planned through a terrain wherein section of more than 270 km length runs through the eastern fringe of Thar desert in the state of Rajasthan. MBPL routed in newer and exotic expanse of Great Indian Thar desert posed greater challenges in respect of pipeline routing, design and construction.
The pipeline route across the bygone desert is characterized by severe climate and remote locations. The summer daytime temperature reaches upto 50 deg C while in winter it drops to near freezing temperature. Sand dunes at some places along the route were more than 40 m high and were of different kinds and separated by inter-dunal sandy plains of varying stretches.