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Assam govt aspiring for higher stake in gas cracker project

Written by: Staff
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Guwahati, Jun 6 (UNI) Assam government is aspiring for a higher stake in the Rs 5460 crore gas cracker project to be set up in Dibrugarh district of Upper Assam within next five years by the main promoter Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL).

Assam Industries Minister Pradyut Bardoloi hoped that the 10 per cent stake allotted for Assam government in the project was likely to increase to the level of 20 per cent in view of the estimated cost of land and rehabilitation of project-displaced people that the state government was supposed to bear.

The jinxed project that was hanging fire for the last two decades and successive state has been billed to change the socio-economic face of upper Assam because of large number of downstream industries that would be facilitated by the mega project.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) recently cleared the project as an integrated petrochemical complex at Lepetkata in Dibrugarh district of Assam to be implemented by a joint venture company (JVC), to be promoted by GAIL with 70 per cent equity participation. The remaining 30 per cent equity would be shared equally among Oil India Ltd (OIL), Numaligarh Refineries Ltd (NRL) and the Assam government.

The state industry minister, who hoped for generation of employment to the tune of about one lakh following the setting up of the gas cracker project that was part of the Assam Accord signed between the Government of India and All Assam Students Union (AASU) in 1985, has taken personal interest in selection of land for the project.

The project is expected to be completed in 60 months from the date of approval.

About 500 plastic processing units are likely to come up in the North-Eastern region once the project becomes operational.

Assam government has agreed to grant exemption from entry tax on capital goods, exemption from works contract tax during construction and sales tax/VAT exemption on feed stock and products for 15 years from the date of commencement of production.

The feedstock for the petrochemical complex is 6 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic meters per day) gas from the OIL and 1.35 MMSCMD gas from Oil&Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) upto March 31, 2012.

Thereafter, the petro complex would also utilize 1,60,000 TPA of petrochemical grade naphtha from the NRL. The site has been identified by the Assam government and necessary environmental clearance has been obtained.

The existing LPG plant of the GAIL at Lakwa would be upgraded to process gas for recovery of ethane and higher hydrocarbon fraction, which would be transported to Lepetkata gas cracker project through a pipeline.

The Assam gas cracker project remained non-implemented since 1985 basically because of non-availability of sufficient feed stock besides other reasons.

UNI XC TJP SS1101

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