Indian Oil plans to add petchem unit to west India coastal refinery

20 March 2014 07:17 Source:ICIS News

KOLKATA (ICIS)--Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is considering to add an integrated petrochemical plant to its first proposed coastal refinery in western India, a company official said on Thursday.

The proposed refinery would be located along the west coast, either in Gujarat or Maharashtra province, and the plans to add a petrochemical plant was aimed to leverage benefits of imported crude for the port-based project, the official said.

The refinery, proposed with an installed capacity of 15m tonnes/year, would entail an investment of about $5bn, he added.

Consulting firm Engineers India Limited (EIL) would prepare the detailed project report and additional investments for the petrochemical plant and configurations will be determined by the consultants, based on the final configuration of the refinery, the official said.

IOC’s seven existing refineries with total installed capacity of 54m tonnes/year and one linked petrochemical plant are all landlocked. A coastal refinery and a petrochemical project would enable the company to derive cost benefits of  processing cheaper heavier imported crude, he added.

The oil refiner and marketer is also constructing a separate refinery of 15m tonnes/year, entailing an investment of $5bn, at Paradip in Orissa province along the eastern coast of India, and it is scheduled for commercial operations later this year.

Elaborating on its petrochemical projects at Paradip in the east and the company's first coastal project in the west, the official said that while the company was planning a standalone polypropylene (PP) plant of 600,000 tonnes/year for the Paradip refinery, with an investment of around $1.2bn, the petrochemical project in the west coast would be a multi-product integrated petrochemical plant, in view of the cost benefits of the location.

The addition of a petrochemical plant to the proposed west coast refinery is in line with the strategic objective of the company to shift its identity as a petroleum company to a petrochemical company, he added.

At present, IOC has the capacity for production of 600,000 tonnes/year of PP, 300,000 tonnes/year of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and 350,000 tonnes/year of  linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) in a swing plant linked to a naphtha cracker at its 15m tonne/year refinery, located at Panipat in northern India.

By Ajoy K Das