Indian Oil rethinks Paradip petchem project site; eyes Maharashtra

21 January 2013 08:28  [Source: ICIS news]

KOLKATA (ICIS)--Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOC) is rethinking a plan to develop a petrochemical complex linked to a new refinery being built at Paradip, as it considering an alternative site in the western coast, a senior company official said on Monday.

The company’s new 15m tonne/year refinery in Paradip is 90% complete and is scheduled to start trial runs in September this year, the official said.

“The refinery at Paradip in [the] eastern Indian province of Orissa … envisaged a linked $4bn (€3bn) petrochemical complex, the official said.

“The original plan of a linked petrochemical complex at the same location has not been shelved but will have to compete with emerging opportunities on the west coast,” the official said.

IOC is actively exploring opportunities of investing $6bn to build another 15m tonne/year refinery along the western coast, possibly in Maharashtra province, he said.

“A comparative techno-economic feasibility study would be necessary for a final decision on [the] location of the proposed investment on a petrochemical complex,” the official said.

IOC is India’s largest petroleum refiner with total crude refining capacity of 66m tonnes/year.

“At the moment, the focus was on completing the refinery at Paradip,” the official said.

Engineers India Ltd (EIL) has been appointed to prepare a report on configuration and location of the proposed west coast refinery within the next one year, the official said.

A detailed feasibility report (DFR) would be prepared, during which stage, a comparative analysis on location of a petrochemical plant would be examined, the official added.

Other IOC officials cited time and cost overruns as the main reasons for the company’s inclination to relocate its proposed multi-billion dollar petrochemical project.

Construction of the Paradip refinery has been delayed by a string of workers' protests, that the new scheduled test run is about 15 months behind schedule.

Earlier on, IOC had sounded off a need for a foreign investor in developing a petrochemical complex but the company has yet to officially announce a strategic partner in the venture.

In 2012, IOC had initiated dialogue and proposed strategic investment partnerships with Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Qatar Petrochemicals Co (Qapco) for implementing the petrochemical complex at Paradip but no update was available.

Inputs from a prospective investor would also have to be weighed in finalising the location of the project, the senior IOC official said.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Ajoy K Das
+65 6780 4359

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