HPCL's LPG storage facility at Vizag to be commissioned by month-end

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New Delhi, Nov 6 (UNI) State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) today said its underground LPG storage facility, with a capacity of 60,000 tonnes per annum, at Visakhapatnam will be commissioned by month-end.

''The Rs 360 crore project will be commissioned by month-end,'' HPCL Chairman and Managing Director Arun Balakrishnan told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

The work on the project carried out by the the joint venture company of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Total of France--South Asia LPG Company Pvt Ltd-- once completed will be one of the engineering and construction wonders of the world.

The 50:50 joint venture was formed in 1999.

''Saudi Arabia is a big player in LPG and our partner Total have access to LPG for West Asia,'' Mr Balakrishnan said.

Restructuring of Prize Petroleum, a joint venture between HPCL and ICICI, will be done and the company is contemplating various options, including rights issue route, for raising its equity base in order to fund its increased activities in oil exploration and production, he said.

The company has considered various options for enhancing its equity base, including initial public offer, rights issue, and induction of an equity partner.

Prize Petroleum has a paid-up equity capital of Rs 20 crore with 50 per cent participation from HPCL, 45 per cent from ICICI and ICICI Ventures, and five per cent by HDFC. The company's authorised capital is pegged at Rs 720 crore.

UNI

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