Chairman says project could be commissioned by 2015-16

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd has entered into licence agreements with four technology providers for its Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP) in Kochi, involving an investment of Rs 14,225 crore.

The company has also tied up with a technology provider for its petrochemicals complex.

Chairman and Managing Director R.K.Singh said here on Friday that the company had roped in LG Chem, South Korea, for a joint petrochemicals venture, involving an investment of approximately Rs 6,000 crore.

The petrochemicals complex will use propylene from the expanded refinery to produce acrylates, phenol and super absorbent polymer that are predominantly imported into the country.

Besides, licence agreements have been signed with Stone & Webster of the US for the refinery’s fluidised catalytic unit, US-based Lummus Corporation for the delayed coker unit, Halder Topsoe of Denmark for diesel hydro-treater unit, and Shell of Holland for the vacuum gasoil hydro treater unit, he said.

The expansion plan is awaiting final clearance from the Union Environment Ministry, he added. The project envisages increasing the refining capacity of the Kochi facility from 9.5 million tonnes a year to 15.5 million tonnes. Once commissioned, BPCL’s Kochi facility will be the largest public sector refinery in the country.

The Kerala Government and BPCL also signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday by which the State government agreed to provide incentives such as deferment of Kerala Goods and Services Tax, VAT, and CST as well as provide exemption from Works Contract Tax.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of Emerging Kerala 2012 Investor Meet.

“If everything goes well, the expanded refinery can be commissioned by 2015-16”, Singh said. The refinery would directly employ 1,000 people. Around 25,000 labourers will be needed during the construction phase, he added.

Through the IREP project, about 1.3 million tonnes a year of pet-coke will also be produced besides conventional petroleum products. This along with propylene and other petroleum products will provide a fillip to the industrial scene of Kerala.

BPCL-KR and Kerala Government are also jointly setting up a pet-coke-based, 500-MW power plant at Ambalamugal. The power generation cost is comparable to that of coal-based power and cheaper compared with power generated from other thermal sources such as naptha.

(This article was published on September 14, 2012)
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