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Indian Oil Seeks Refinery Expansion in the Eastern India

Indian Oil Corporation Limited has planned to invest about INR 15,000 crore in over 3 years to increase the capacity of its Barauni refinery and petrochemical units. In order to meet the growing petrochemicals demand in the eastern part of the country, the company is aiming for expansion of its Barauni refinery to 9 million tonnes (mt) from the existing capacity of 6mt. The company is also looking forward to setting up a 0.2 mt Polypropylene unit which would support the emergence of ancillary units where Polypropylene is primarily consumed. Mr. S. M Vaidya, director (refineries) of IOC stated in an interview recently, that the upgraded facilities would generate the revenue of about INR 10,000 crore. The petrochemical plant along with warehouse facilities is to be set up at an estimated cost of INR 1,255.36 crore. IOCL’s present fluidized catalytic cracking unit is being upgraded to INDMAX unit, which would maximize the yield of LPG and generate petrochemical feedstock, Propylene. Also, to cater to the demand of airlines in the region and meet the requirements of Nepal, the company has a well-developed IndJET unit which would produce the aviation turbine fuel (ATF). International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that India will surpass China in terms of its oil demand by 2020, however, owing to its vulnerability to oil markets in West Asia, the refiners must look for more refinery investment in the country. India has been rigorously planning to increase its refining capacity to about 8 million bpd by 2025 from the current 5 million bpd. This makes investors opportunistic about the attractive Indian market for refinery investment.