The company has suffered a Rs 431-crore loss during April-June 2005 followed by a Rs 400-crore cash loss in July.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Sept 5

BPCL plans to borrow Rs 1,000 crore from banks and financial institutions in the current fiscal to meet its working capital requirements. The company has already borrowed Rs 2,500 crore.

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the company's first super premium fuel, Speed 97, today, Mr Ashok Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director, said that the company would borrow Rs 1,000 crore in the current fiscal and will also raise the capacity of its Mumbai refinery to 2,40,000 barrels per day.

"BPCL is suffering losses to the tune of Rs 400 crore every month as domestic prices of petroleum products have not been increased in line with the spiralling international crude prices," he said. "The company will have to rethink its investment plans. We are committed to our 2005 plans, but for 2006 we will have to re-think."

The company has suffered a Rs 431-crore loss during April-June 2005 followed by a Rs 400-crore cash loss in July. This was BPCL's first ever loss in a quarter on account of Rs 2,100 crore under-recoveries in sale of petroleum products.

Mr Sinha said that petrol is currently being under-priced by Rs 7.45 a litre and diesel by Rs 5.15 per litre.

Cooking gas is being sold at a loss of Rs 96 per cylinder and kerosene is discounted by Rs 12.85 a litre.

On the expansion plans, he said that the company will increase the capacity of its Mumbai refinery to 2,40,000 barrels per day. The Mumbai refinery processes about 200,000 barrels per day currently.

Regarding the earnings from the branded fuel, he said: "Branded fuel accounts for 10-11 per cent of the total fuel sale."

Speed 97 has been priced at Rs 55 per litre. The fuel is a blend of high-octane petrol with specially designed components.

BPCL, which has a network of 6,600 retail outlets, plans to add 1,000 outlets by the end of the fiscal.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 6, 2005)
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