BPCL plans Rs 45,000-cr investment for capacity expansion

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Public sector Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd plans to invest about Rs 45,000 crore in the next four to five years to expand its refinery capacity and upstream operations.

Addressing the media after the company’s 59 {+t} {+h} Annual General Meeting held in Mumbai on Friday, Chairman and Managing Director R.K. Singh said: “In the next four to five years, our company is going to change completely with BPCL emerging as a major player in the exploration and production field.”

The company is riding high on its discovery in Mozambique and plans to monetise the gas finds by proposing to set up two LNG plant of 5 mtpa capacity each.

Also on the anvil is its Integrated Refinery Expansion Project that envisages increasing the Kochi refinery capacity from 9.5 mtpa to 15.5 mtpa and diversification into the petrochemical sector to manufacture niche products.

The entire outlay for this project has been pegged at Rs 20,000 crore.

Singh said: “We are also committed to spend Rs 10,000 crore towards the marketing of Mozambique gas in the next four to five years.

By 2017-18 we are hopeful of get getting gas, of which a part would be brought to India.”

The company chairman also expressed his confidence at being able to mobilise the resources for its ambitious plans.

“We do not believe we would have any problem in mobilising resources to meet our capex requirement as we are tying up with banks for our loan arrangements in the upstream sector through reserve base lending,” added Singh.

The company may also go in for a foreign borrowing to finance its petro chemical project in Kerala. With the Government reducing the withholding tax from 20 per cent to five per cent, “We need to study the fine print to know what would be the benefit”, said S. Varadarajan, Director Finance.

BPCL has tied up with LG Chemicals of South Korea for the petro chemical project.

The company’s board has approved a new R&D project to produce diesel from bio-mass jointly with Shell and another Hyderabad based company, Chairman said.


(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 23, 2012)
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