BPCL’s new private owner can exit planned West Coast refinery project

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on May 30, 2021

MoU signed for the proposed refinery is ‘non-binding’

The new private owner of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) will have the option to come out of the joint venture company that plans to build the world's largest integrated refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex estimated to cost ₹3 lakh crore in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district.

The 60 million tonnes (mt) capacity a year refinery will be built by a consortium comprising three state-run oil refiners – Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation - besides Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

The three state-run refiners will have a 50 per cent stake in the project, with Indian Oil Corporation holding 25 per cent equity while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) would own 12.5 per cent stake apiece. The balance 50 per cent stake in the venture will be held by Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in a proportion yet to be decided.

“The new private owner of BPCL will have a right to continue in the project, but there is no obligation,” a top government official said, noting that this call has to be taken by the private entity depending on commercial judgment.

The official said that the memorandum of understanding signed between the partners for the proposed refinery was “non-binding”.

Currently, India can refine 232 mt of crude oil.

Land acquisition

The project has been delayed due to opposition from locals over land acquisition at the original site. This has forced the government to look for alternate sites in Maharashtra, which is yet to be identified.

Published on May 28, 2021

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