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IOC rethink on greenfield refinery plan in TN

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Project only on long-term horizon: Behuria

Not for now: Mr Sarthak Behuria, Chairman, CPCL (left); Mr K. K. Acharya, Managing Director, Mr N.C. Sridharan, Director Finance (centre), at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday. —
Not for now: Mr Sarthak Behuria, Chairman, CPCL (left); Mr K. K. Acharya, Managing Director, Mr N.C. Sridharan, Director Finance (centre), at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday. —

Our Bureau

Chennai, May 15 Indian Oil Corporation’s 15-million tonne greenfield refinery at Ennore near Chennai would have been the single largest investment that the state of Tamil Nadu might see. At today’s costs, the project would cost $ 12 billion (Rs 40,000 crore).

However, going by the indications thrown by Mr Sarthak Behuria, Chairman and Managing Director of IOC, at a press conference here today, the project may never come up.

Status of project

Asked about the status of the project, Mr Behuria noted that there was already surplus refining capacity in the country and that many other companies had announced huge refineries.

He stressed that the project was only on the long-term horizon and would not be taken up in the Eleventh plan period (2007-2012).

The project has been talked about for close to three years now.

A press release from IOC’s subsidiary, Chennai Petroleum Corporation, says that joint surveys with the Tamil Nadu government “have led to identification of 3,300 acres of lands for the project.”

“Prior to acquisition of this land, we are pursuing with Ministry of Environment and Forests and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board regarding the acceptability of the identified location from the environment angle,” the release says.

Sources in the state government say that that much of land is not available at Ennore. It is understood that the government has asked IOC to look at a site near Cuddalore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 16, 2008)
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