Acquisition of SPIC Petro by MRPL put on the back burner

Pratim Ranjan Bose

On course


The committed

projects like the 750-MW ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPCL), Rs 12,800-crore aromatic product complex at MRPL and most importantly the auto fuel retailing are on course.

Kolkata, June 16

The new management in ONGC does not foresee any drastic change in ONGC's previously announced approach to emerge as an integrated energy company. What also remains unchanged is the vision to make MRPL as the downstream investment vehicle of the group.

The much publicised acquisition plan of SPIC Petro by MRPL, however, is reportedly put on the back burner.

A senior company official revealed that the committed projects like the 750-MW ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPCL), Rs 12,800-crore aromatic product complex at MRPL and most importantly the auto fuel retailing are on course.

"While there could be some adjustments in the project planning, leading to some delay in commissioning, the proposed gas-based power project in Tripura is very much on course," a senior company official said. The project was conceived to ensure commercial use of idle natural gas reserves of ONGC in Tripura.

Talking on MRPL, the official said that since the proposal to set up aromatic complex was approved by the board there was little possibility of a rollback of the decision. Post implementation of the project the distillate yield of MRPL would reportedly improve to 83 per cent on crude. The ONGC subsidiary is also commissioning a project to expand capacity to 15 million tonnes.

While admitting that MRPL's performance has been lacklustre in the last one year, the sources said that high level of exports (40 per cent of production) and higher discounts had impacted the balance sheet of the company.

On the retailing initiative of MRPL, the official said that despite delay the project is on course. As per the previous plans MRPL was expected to be the value for money retailers of auto-fuel in Karnataka and parts of Western coast.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 17, 2006)
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