Cross-country pipelines are the safest mode of transportation for petroleum products. A typical hydrocarbon multi-product cross-country pipeline network consists of Dispatch station, cross-country Pipeline, Intermediate Pump Stations, Sectionalizing Valve Stations, intermediate pigging stations and Receipt Stations. Dispatch station, Intermediate Pump Stations and Receipt stations are manned stations to meet the operational and maintenance requirements in the pipeline network. Since pipelines operate round the clock, operations work force are required on 24 × 7 basis at these control rooms. Typically, work force expenses account for more than 25% of total operating cost.

Cross-country pipelines are often laid in areas away from Urban and Industrialized areas. Intermediate Booster stations are also mostly located in remote areas. The work force operating these stations have to stay in hardship locations to ensure pipeline operations are unhindered.

In order to optimize the work force requirements at Intermediate Pump stations and to ensure seamless and safe operations, it is proposed to construct Smart pump stations. The smart pump stations are intelligent enough with state of the art instrumentation to be monitored / controlled / operated from a remote controlling station which is a non-hardship location. The smart pump stations are designed such that it will have self-sufficient systems which will require minimum human interface from remote controlling stations.

HPCL has implemented the smart pump station design philosophy in its ongoing Vijayawada Dharmapuri Pipeline project wherein two Intermediate Pump (IP) stations viz. Donakonda & Kalakada are designed and are being constructed as smart pump stations which are being completely automated and will be remotely monitored / controlled from remote controlling stations at Vijayawada & Kadapa respectively.

Design philosophy of Smart Stations entails developing a completely new and a tailor made design philosophy for Process, mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, cathodic protection system, SCADA, Telecom & allied systems, fire & safety and accordingly getting all the equipment selected / manufactured / installed / commissioned.

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