India’s largest refinery project draws Aramco’s interest

12 April 2017, Week 14 Issue 560

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is interested in a stake in India’s proposed 1.8 trillion rupee (US$27.87 billion) refinery in Maharashtra State, Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has said.

The official said both Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) were in talks with New Delhi over investments in India’s energy sector. Aramco is interested in the West coast refinery, while ADNOC is interested in petrochemical projects, Pradhan said, without divulging the size of the stake the Saudi NOC might pick up.

The mega complex, which will produce gasoline, diesel, LPG, jet fuel and petrochemical feedstock, will require 12,000-15,000 acres (48.6-60.7 square km) of land on the Maharashtra coast, which has already been selected, the minister added. It will be the South Asia country’s largest refinery when completed.

State-run Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) plan to build the 60 million tpy (1.2 million bpd) refinery to meet rising domestic fuel demand. Indian Oil owns 50% of the project, while BPCL and HPCL have 25% each. The project is likely to be funded through 60% debt and 40% equity.

The first phase will set up 40 million tpy (800,000 bpd) of capacity with an aromatic complex, naphtha cracker and a polymer complex, and will carry a price tag of 1.2-1.5 trillion rupees (US$18.58-23.22 billion). Once the land has been acquired the initial phase is expected to take five to six years to complete. The second phase, involving a 20 million tpy (400,000 bpd) refinery, will cost 500-600 billion rupees (US$7.74-9.29 billion).

To date, the country’s largest refinery set up by an NOC has a capacity of 15 million tpy (300,000 bpd). The Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) operated 33 million tpy (660,000 bpd) Jamnagar refinery in Gujarat State is the biggest unit in the country. The privately owned company also built an adjoining 29 million tpy (580,000 bpd) unit. In fiscal 2015-16, India’s refining capacity stood at 232 million tpy (4.64 million bpd), outstripping 183.5 million tpy (3.67 million bpd) of national demand. However, the country needs additional capacity according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which has projected demand will hit 458 million tpy (9.16 million bpd) by 2040.

Pradhan said last week that work on HPCL’s long-delayed 9 million tpy (180,000 bpd) refinery at Barmer in Rajasthan State would soon begin, with the state government agreeing to a revised fiscal package for the project. The refinery, which has been in the planning phase for nearly five years, is projected to cost 410-420 billion rupees (US$6.35-6.5 billion).

Edited by

Andrew Kemp


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