HPCL in talks with BP, Total to revive $10-b Vizag project

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 18, 2011 Published on August 18, 2011

State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) is in talks with BP Plc and Total SA of France to revive the stalled $10 billion refinery-cum- petrochemicals project at Vizag in Andhra Pradesh.

“Total has renewed interest in the project ... BP too is interested. We are talking to them on possible stakes they can take in the project,” a top source said here.

An HPCL-led consortium, which included steel billionaire LN Mittal’s group, Total of France, state-owned Oil India and GAIL, had in 2009 put the project on hold as petrochemical demand then was seen as too weak to justify the investment.

“Mittal too is back on table. They have tasted success with now mechanically complete (9 million tonnes) Bhatinda refinery (in Punjab). They will be willing to come on board of this project too,” the source said.

While OIL and GAIL stayed with the project, Mittal had in November 2008 “put on hold” his investment in the project. In the following year, Total exited the project, forcing HPCL to freeze the project that involved setting up a 14-million-tonne refinery and an one million tonne petrochemical plant at a cost of Rs 45,000 crore ($10 billion).

“We are commissioning a detailed feasibility report of the project,” the source said, adding that public sector firms HPCL, OIL and GAIL will together hold the same level of stake which private firms BP, Total and Mittal will get in the project.

Published on August 18, 2011
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