Auto fuel prices hike not now, says Jaipal Reddy

Debabrata Das Panipat | Updated on February 16, 2011 Published on February 15, 2011

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Mr Jaipal Reddy, with the Tourism Minister, Ms Kumari Selja, and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda during the inauguration of Panipat Naphtha Cracker Complex in Haryana on Tuesday. -   -  PTI

Customers of auto fuels can get some respite, with the fuel prices likely to remain at the same levels for the moment. The Petroleum Minister, Mr S. Jaipal Reddy, said on Tuesday, “Since prices are going up we can't decrease petrol prices. But we are also not going to increase price of any commodity at the moment.”

Speaking to reporters at a function to dedicate the country's largest naphtha cracker plant at Indian Oil Corporation Ltd's Panipat Complex to the nation he said, “There is no proposal given to oil companies to increase petrol prices at the moment."

Mr Reddy added that keeping in view the public sentiment, the Ministry has decided not to increase prices of petrol for the moment. “Prices of diesel, domestic LPG and PDS kerosene have remained static. This is despite the fact that under-recoveries will reach Rs 80,000 crore, it might even reach Rs 1 lakh crore this fiscal. But still petrol prices have been untouched despite the global price trends,” he pointed out.

The Naphtha Cracker Complex, built at a cost of Rs 14,439-crore, will provide significant impetus to IOC's foray into petrochemicals. The unit was commissioned in March 2010, and with this IOC proposes to eat into some of the Reliance Industries Ltd's (RIL) market share for polymers.

Currently, RIL holds close to 60 per cent market share for polymers. By next fiscal year, IOC plans to increase its market share to 20 per cent from the current 5 per cent.

The feedstock requirement for the cracker unit is 2.3 mtpa. The company is sourcing naphtha feed for the unit from its refineries in Koyali, Mathura, as well as Panipat. With this internal consumption of naphtha going up, IOC's exports of the product are expected to come down significantly.

The primary feed of naphtha cracker unit is naphtha, which will be thermally cracked to produce polymer grade ethylene and propylene, which will then undergo processing units such as LLDPE, HDPE, polypropylene as well as intermediaries.

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Published on February 15, 2011
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