Kuwait Oil firm to set up refinery, petrochemical plants in India

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New Delhi, Dec 6 (UNI) Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), a national oil company, today said it is exploring opportunities for setting up downstream projects in the oil and gas sector in India in partnership with a local company.

''KPC is exploring opportunities in the refinery and petrochemical activities,'' KPC Chief Executive Saad A Al-Shuwaib said in a meeting with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora here.

Kuwait is committed to India for further developing present business relationship into partnerships, Mr Saad added.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Deora stressed that this was one of the best times for foreign companies to invest in Indian oil and gas sector projects as in most of the hydrocarbon activities 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed, including in refineries and upstream activities.

Assuring full support, Mr Deora underlined that joint venture projects between KPC and state-run Indian Oil will be tremendously beneficial.

He said three projects are being implemented by state-run oil companies at Paradip in Orissa by IOC, Bina in Madhya Pradesh by BPCL and Bhatinda in Punjab by HPCL.

Bina and Bhatinda projects are being implemented as joint venture projects with Oman Oil Company and global steel major Mittal Investments respectively, an official statement said.

There are other projects/plans for setting up refinery -- petrochemical complexes by IOCL at Panipat. ONGC at Mangalore, Kakinada, HPCL at Vishakhapatnam.

Mr Deora said promoting refinery projects in India is very competitive as capital cost is low and project consultancy by PSU technology company Engineers India Ltd is of high quality and at competitive cost.

He suggested that Kuwaiti company could also join Indian public sector oil companies in bidding for upcoming offer of exploration blocks under NELP-VII.

Kuwait is a major crude oil supplier to India and supplied about 11 million metric tonnes during 2006-07.

UNI

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