Oil India Ltd to invest in new petrochemical plant

25 June 2013 07:21  [Source: ICIS news]

KOLKATA (ICIS)--Oil India Ltd (OIL) has firmed up investments of $167m (€127m) to add a new petrochemical plant to Assam Petrochemicals Ltd (APL) after acquiring 49% equity in the Indian company earlier this month, a company official said on Tuesday.

While the product mix of the new petrochemical plant for APL is yet to be finalised, pending the outcome of the market feasibility report, the new plant would be aligned to APL’s planned acetic acid and methanol projects, the official said.

A market survey cum feasibility report would also explore export opportunities to neighbouring Bangladesh and the final configuration of the petrochemical plant would give weightage to such export potential, the official said.

OIL would ensure natural gas feedstock supplies from its fields in north eastern Indian provinces in close proximity to Assam where APL’s existing plants are located, the official added.

OIL have already committed supply of 500,000 metric standard cubic metres per day of natural gas to APL’s current projects.

APL is currently constructing a 200 tonne/day acetic acid plant that uses the methanol carbonylation route and a 500 tonne/day methanol plant at Namrup district in Assam. Both will be located at the same site as the company’s existing plants and are scheduled for completion in 2014.

Before OIL acquired 49% stake of APL, which entailed an investment of $39m, APL was a wholly owned company of the provincial government of Assam, operating a 100 tonne/day methanol plant and a 100 tonne/day formaldehyde unit.

The investments in equity and new projects in APL are part of OIL’s strategy to leverage its free cash reserves of around $2bn to grow the oil exploration and production major’s downstream businesses, the official added.

($1 = €0.76)

Author: Ajoy K Das

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