26 March 2012 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Indian Oil has earmarked an investment of Indian rupees (Rs) 150bn ($3bn) over the next five years to boost its petrochemicals production, according to senior executives at the Indian major.
"We are committed to investing more in petrochemicals; we are looking at adding value to every hydrocarbon molecule," said A M K Sinha, the company's director of planning and business development. "The plan is to utilise stranded streams of propylene from our refineries and add value to streams from the cracker."
The state-owned refining and petrochemical company will be focusing on adding value to the propylene streams at its refineries at Vadodara, Mathura and Barauni. At Vadodara, the company plans to set up plants for acrylic acid (AA), acrylates and oxo-alcohols. "We are in talks for a joint venture with a leading European producer," said Sidhartha Mitra, the firm's executive director for petrochemicals. "We plan to complete a study by April/May.
"We are looking at 160,000 tonnes/year of crude acrylic acid, 210,000 tonnes/year of butyl acrylate [butac], 60,000 tonnes/year of acrylic acid and 130,000-140,000 tonnes/year of 2-ethylhexanol [2-EH]," he added. Indian Oil already has plans for a 1m tonne/year acetic acid joint venture with BP Chemical at Vadodara. At Barauni, the company is evaluating plans for 300,000 tonnes/year of phenol and bisphenol A (BPA).
The company was initially looking at adding a polycarbonate (PC) unit to the phenolics complex, but decided not to pursue it as the market outlook was uncertain, he added. Plans for a polypropylene (PP) facility downstream of a refinery under construction at Paradip, Orissa, have also been revived.
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