Decision on proposed refinery at Vizag by year-end: Total

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (UNI) France oil major Total today said it along with its partners will decide by the year-end regarding the set up of six billion dollar refinery and petrochemicals complex in Visakhapatnam.

LN Mittal group last October signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HPCL, Total, Gail and Oil India for jointly undertaking feasibility study of the proposed complex.

''The project is still at pre-feasibility stage. By the end of this year, all partners in this project will know if we are going ahead with it or not,'' company Senior Vice President (Asia-Pacific) Thierry Pflimlin told reporters here on the sidelines of a conference.

He said the proposed refinery will have an annual capacity of 14 million tonnes a year (2,80,000 barrels per day), which was earlier set at 15 million tonnes per year.

''We look at the optimal size of the units available in the market, and on that basis we think it will be of 14 million tonnes,'' Mr Pflimlin said.

If the proposed refinery is built, it would initially focus on exports, he said, adding that in future some of the products will cater to Indian markets as well.

With the oil demand in Asia set to increase by about five million barrels per day in the next 10 years, the company had identified India to set up a new refinery, Mr Pflimlin said.

The first phase of the feasibility study has been completed, Mr Christian Chammas, Country Chairman, Refining and Marketing -- India, said, adding that the going for the second phase is yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, Mr Chammas said the capacity of the LNG terminal at Hazira, in which Royal Dutch Shell and Total hold stakes, has been increased to 3.6 million tonnes per annum from 2.5 million tonnes.

Total, one of the world's major oil and gas groups, has presence in more than 130 countries.

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