Co spends Rs 2,500 cr on clean fuel projects.

Our Bureau

Visakhapatnam, July 1 The Visakha refinery of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) is gearing up to offer Euro-III and Euro-IV compliant products by April 2010, according to Mr P.A.B. Raju, Executive Director.

At a press conference, he said HPCL had spent Rs 2,500 crore for the clean fuels projects to produce petrol compliant with the stringent Euro standards and “we will be able to supply such products in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam by April. The project is in advanced stages of implementation”.

He said the refinery had achieved crude throughput of over nine million tonnes during 2008-09, even though its capacity was only 7.5 million tonnes. It also produced the highest-ever 3,40,000 tonnes of bitumen during the year and it had processed 20 different types of crude during the year.

“The first consignment of Reliance crude from the Krishna-Godavari basin was processed during the year. We are expecting to process new crude from Rajasthan by September this year,” Mr Raju said.

LPG storage facility

He said the refinery had completed 10 million hours of safe operations and all measures were being taken to ensure the safety of the plant. The refinery had built a mounded storage facility for LPG at Rs 120 crore and it may be commissioned in three months. This would enhance LPG safety substantially. The HPCL was also storing LPG in an underground cavern.

Single buoy mooring

The refinery was setting up a single buoy mooring (SBM) at Rs 500 crore to receive very large crude carriers and economise on freight charges. The SBM would be ready by March 2010, he said. The refinery was also setting up a diesel hydro-treating plant at Rs 3,000 crore for de-sulphurisation of HSD to meet Euro-IV requirements.

Answering a question on the proposed expansion of the refinery’s capacity, Mr Raju said that for the time being the focus was not on expansion, but consolidation and product quality improvement.

“We have not given up on the expansion proposal. But it will be taken up after sometime,” he clarified.

Petro-chemical complex

On when HPCL would take up construction of the petrochemical complex for which 1,400 acres had been allotted by the State Government in the special economic zone at Atchyutapuram in Vizag district, he said the economic recession had hit the project, as it was capital-intensive. “It is a good project, but the time is not opportune for taking it up. It may take some time,” he explained.

New marketing terminal

Mr Raju said HPCL had taken 300 acres from the Visakhapatnam port for taking up various works. Of this, 120 acres had been allotted for building a new marketing terminal for its products. It may be ready by 2011, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 2, 2009)
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