Kerala firms Rs.20,000-crore refinery expansion project

September 14th, 2012 - 4:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Sep 14, (IANS) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Kerala government and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) here Friday at the Emerging Kerala-2012 investment meet for a massive Rs.20,000-crore Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP).

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and BPCL chairman R.K. Singh signed the MOU. Currently, BPCL has a refining capacity of 9.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) in Kochi, producing Euro 111/IV-compliant auto fuels and other petroleum products.

“This is a huge step for the investment scenario in the state,” Chandy said after inking the MoU.

Singh said that the expansion would see the refining capacity of the refinery increase from 9.5 mmtpa to 15.5 mmtpa. The refinery would also be modernised and re-equipped to produce auto fuels complying with Euro 1V/V specifications.

The expansion would also come with the upgradation of low-value refinery residue stream to value-added products and production of propylene, a major petrochemical feedstock that could trigger even further investment.

“The project is scheduled to be completed by Dec 2015. We have also signed an MoU with petrochemical major LG Chem, South Korea, for setting up of a propylene-based petrochemical complex,” Singh said.

Once complete, this project is expected to offer direct employment to 1,000 people and indirect employment to 25,000 people.

Industrial units in the state would benefit from the expansion, as about 1.3 mmpta of petcoke (petroleum coke, which could be used as fuel) will be produced by the plant which could benefit state PSUs. The additional production of sulphur will benefit major industries like the FACT Alwaye and Travancore Titanium.

Chandy said that as part of the MoU, the state government has agreed to waive certain taxes, besides extending a soft loan to BPCL.

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