Reliance gets green signal for Jamnagar refinery expansion

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on January 23, 2019

A file photo of Reliance Industries’ refinery at Jamnagar, Gujarat   -  AFP

The 5.8-mt addition will raise the capacity to 41 million tonnes

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd has secured backing of the key expert appraisal committee in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change to expand the capacity of its export-oriented refinery in the special economic zone (SEZ) at Jamnagar by 5.8 million tonnes (mt).

The planned expansion will raise the installed capacity of the SEZ refinery to 41 mt from 35.2 mt and lift the overall capacity of the Jamnagar refinery complex to 74 mt. “The EAC, after deliberations and in terms of the provisions contained in EIA Notification 2006, exempted the project from fresh EIA (environment impact assessment) studies and public hearing, and recommended the project for grant of environmental clearance for a period of one year, with the terms and conditions already stipulated in the existing environmental clearance issued on 30 March 2010 granted in favour of Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Limited, subject to compliance of additional terms and conditions,” the EAC wrote in the minutes of the meeting held on December 19, 2018.

The additional terms include prior transfer of environment clearance issued on March 30, 2010 to Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Limited to Reliance Industries Limited (the entity that applied for the environment clearance).

Total production

The Jamnagar refinery processed 69.8 mt of crude in FY18, exceeding its installed capacity of 68.2 mt. Higher refinery utilisation helped the company cater to growing demand for transportation fuels.

Between April and December 2018, Reliance refined 52.3 mt of crude.

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Reliance Petroleum Ltd, a unit of Reliance Industries, built its first refinery at Jamnagar with an installed capacity of 18 mt which was later expanded to 27 mt.

Focus on exports

The capacity of the Jamnagar refinery and petrochemical complex was further expanded by Reliance Industries to 59.7 mt during which the production was split between Reliance Petroleum (26.7 mt) as an only for exports refinery unit and Reliance Industries (33 mt) that sold most of its products in the local market.

The capacity of the SEZ refinery was further expanded by Reliance Jamnagar Infrastructure Ltd to 35.2 mt from 26.7 mt.

“There is a compelling necessity for refineries to increase their efficiency,” MM Kutty, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, told a conference on refineries and petrochemicals recently held in Mumbai.

Capacity utilisation

The refining industry has been consistently achieving more than 100 per cent capacity utilisation and improving performance with respect to all major performance parameters, he said.

“Today, the Indian refining capacity is 249 mt per annum and as per a ministry report, the refining capacity requirement by 2040 will be slightly more than 530 mt per annum to meet the domestic demand and if you want to have a 25 per cent export surplus, then the demand will be around will be 670 mt,” he added.

Published on January 22, 2019

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