Naphtha exports to decrease more than 50% by 2009-end: IOC

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Panipat, Sep 12 (UNI) Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country's largest refinery, today said it expects naphtha exports to decline by more than 50 per cent by 2009-end.

''Our exports (of naphtha) will come down substantially...the cracker at Panipat, which is to be built by November 2009, will consume the naphtha, thus reducing exports to barely 0.6 to 0.7 million tonnes per annum, down from the current two million tonnes per annum,'' IOC Director (Refineries) B N Bankapur told reporters here.

''We will be using naphtha produced at Panipat and Mathura refineries for the cracker,'' he added.

Mr Bankapur said the blueprint to scale up the Panipat refinery capacity of 2,40,000 barrel per day (bpd) to 3,00,000 bpd is progressing as planned.

IOC's Paradip refinery of 3,00,000 bpd, to be built by the first quarter of 2012, will raise the ratio of high-sulphur crude IOC processes to 76 per cent from the current 50 per cent.

The country's largest refinery is also interested to purchase crude oil from Cairn India's Rajasthan field, provided it gets a discount of 15-18 dollars to Bonny Light -- the benchmark used for pricing crude pumped by ONGC, Mr Bankapur said.

However, he did not comment on the financial aspects of the company.

UNI SBA SG KP1707

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