New petchem partners

Gail’s quest for petrochemicals has taken an interesting turn. It is now looking to tie up with Reliance Industries and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) to set up two greenfield petrochemical plants.

HPCL has planned a cracker at Visakhapatnam and it is likely that Gail will take a stake in this project. As for the second project, Reliance and Gail are said to be looking overseas.

The two companies, competitors in the local petrochemicals market, are considering inking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore opportunities in feedstock rich countries either in the Middle East or in central Asia.

The two make an unusual pair and it is difficult to make out the benefits of this partnership. State-owned Gail might be able to give Reliance some political mileage but then Reliance is big enough to manage on its own.

The love for petrochemicals certainly makes strange bedfellows.

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