Hinduja mulls investing in W Bengal petchem hub

05 March 2008 16:02  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--India’s Hinduja Group is examining downstream petrochemical opportunities and is in talks with the West Bengal state government for participating in its "mega-chemical hub", a top company official said on Wednesday.

"The group is exploring possibilities in petrochemicals and we are looking at the whole chain," Hinduja’s executive vice chairman Subir Raha told ICIS news on the sidelines of the International Petrochem Conference here.

The company is getting ethane-rich gas from Iran and planned to invest around $20bn in exploration and production activities in the Middle Eastern country and petrochemical projects in India, he added.

Hinduja is in talks with the West Bengal government to set up something in petrochemicals at its petroleum, chemicals and petrochemical investment region (PCPIR), Raha said.

The state had scrapped a petrochemicals park at Nandigram in May last year after farmers had protested against the compulsory acquisition of agricultural land but it then announced it would set up the PCPIR at Nayachar.

"Nayachar looks good [as a location likely to develop into a PCPIR]," said Raha, who also chairs the PCPIR committee of the West Bengal government.

The central government has approved the PCPIR proposal, he said, adding that the respective state governments now needed to "float special purpose vehicles to take the process forward".

Four other states, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, have also expressed interest to create these mega-chemical hubs.

Hinduja is a diversified business group with interests in the oil and gas, automobile, healthcare, banking and finance, media and power sectors.

The two-day conference, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), concludes today.

By: Divya Chowdhury
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