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MRPL to invest Rs 200 cr for Euro IV facilities

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"The project target is 2007. MRPL is supposed to be the first refinery in the country to meet Euro IV standards."

Mr Subir Raha, Chairman

Mangalore , Sept. 27

MRPL is aiming at becoming the first refinery in the country to meet Euro IV standards and is planning to invest around Rs 200 crore in facilities for the same.

Speaking to newspersons on Monday, Mr Subir Raha, Chairman, said: "We are investing Rs 300 crore in Euro III facilities providing for upgrading gasoline quality. The project target is by the end of next year. Added to this, Rs 200 crore is proposed to be invested in Euro IV, and the project target is 2007. This is supposed to be the first refinery in the country to meet Euro IV standards."

Expressing the hope that retail outlets of MRPL will be opened in the current fiscal, he said that both MRPL and ONGC have licences to open retail outlets.

"Right now we are working on brand equity. Hopefully, ONGC and MRPL will go to the retail market within the current fiscal." On the letter of the Union Petroleum Secretary advising ONGC against going in for extensive diversification, he said: "I have seen certain reports in the media. As far the Union Ministry of Petroleum is concerned, we are constantly in dialogue for business opportunities."

According to him, there are two gainful streams in power projects. "On LNG various discussions have been going on; we have not reached any finality. Naphtha will be produced at MRPL itself."

He said that techno-economic feasibility reports on naptha are likely to be completed in a few months.

To a query on plans to expand MRPL's capacity, he said: "Right now we have excess refining capacity in the country. But de-bottlenecking is going on."

On ONGC investments in special economic zones, he said, "We would like to have the SEZ framework to minimise project cost and to minimise project development time. We have entered into an agreement with the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). We are waiting for the notification."

Mr Raha said that the AGM of MRPL shareholders on Monday approved the resolution permitting the board to set off some of the accumulated losses against the securities premium account. "But beyond that I don't think I will make a `forward-looking' statement on possibility for a pool year."

He added: "The product demand is high, so the refinery capacity utilisation will be assured. Product prices are looking firm. There is adverse impact on custom duty reduction on product pricing. We have strong demand, the prices are pulling firm, and the refinery is being operated in an efficient manner. I do have reasonable confidence in sustaining profitability."

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