KPC mulls mega-refinery, petchem project in India

19 December 2007 08:54  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) plans to build a mega-refinery-cum-petrochemicals project in India in partnership with a local company to feed Asia’s rising demand, a company source said on Wednesday.

“The company is very much interested in doing business in India. Since the geopolitical situation in the area [Middle East] has stabilised, the Kuwait government wants to move ahead now,” the source who declined to be named.

There has been some positive progress in other Asian countries, where KPC wants to set up operations, like China, Vietnam and Taiwan, he added.

Last week, KPC’s CEO Saad Al-Shuwaib was in India for an introductory visit, and the company had preliminary discussions with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and some other big Indian companies for the project, the source said.

“We would like to have something in India. We are very serious about it ... We are looking for something either with Reliance or with any other company,” Al-Shuwaib had said at the time.

KPC wants to use crude from Kuwait for the project, the source said. He added, however, that it might not necessarily use 100% feedstock from the Middle Eastern country.

The company was increasing its crude production in northern Kuwait, which should be ready in about two-to-three years, the source said.

“We would like the India project to be consistent with this timeline and the progress in Kuwait. There is no point in the refinery being ready here, without the crude being available,” he added.

The company was looking to set up the project in not less than three-to-four years, he said.

The project would be a world-scale one, but the multi-billion dollar investments and other details will be decided only once the local partner is finalised, the source said.

“The refinery capacity would definitely be upwards of 200,000 bbl/day. Details of the petrochemicals complex have still not been frozen,” he added.

Al-Shuwaib had said last week that KPC continued to be committed to India.

“The Kuwait government wants to move fast on developing something with Indian companies,” the source said.

By: Divya Chowdhury
+65 6780 4359

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