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HPCL to finalise partner for Vizag refinery expansion by mid-2007

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Dec 04 (UNI) The state owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) seeks to finalise a strategic partner by mid 2007 for its Rs 18,000 crore expansion at Vishakapatnam (Vizag) in Andhra Pradesh.

A reliable source at HPCL here said the company plans to build a Rs 9000 crore refinery that can process 150,000 barrels per day which would double its existing capacity at the east coast city of Vizag, to 300,000 bpd by August 2010.

HPCL is also planning a 1-million-tonne petrochemicals plant at the new complex that will cost another Rs 9000 crore, the sources said.

It has opened talks with many companies for participation in the refinery, the sources added.

Essentially, it was looking at firms that were willing to invest in the refinery, facilitate crude supplies and share technical expertise.

The company aims to finance the projects through a combination of internal accruals, strategic investment and debt.

Earlier, a French oil company Total SA and Kuwait Petroleum International Ltd had expressed interest in picking up 25 percent stake each in the expanded refinery.

Currently, HPCL and Total are jointly setting up South Asia's first-ever underground liquefied petroleum gas storage in Vizag.

HPCL is also investing Rs 43 crore to expand its polypropylene capacity to 74,000 tonnes annually from 33,000 tonnes, to meet increased demand from domestic customers as well as for exports.

Other refiners are also expanding in the country's domestic petroleum sector. For instance, Indian Oil Corporation has set up a new petrochemicals plant, while Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, a subsidiary of state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, plans to invest Rs 15,000 crore to build a petrochemicals complex at Mangalore in Karnataka.

UNI SN SD SKB1705

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