The country’s three state run oil marketing companies (OMCs) moved a step closer to implement the ambitious 60 million tonnes capacity West Coast refinery project through a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday. Finalisation of the plant location is expected to be achieved in the next two month’s time.
The three OMCs on Wednesday signed a MoU for a consortium agreement to set up the country’s most ambitious 60 million tonnes mega refinery project. The ministry is confident to finalise the location for the refinery in the next two months time.
“There is a primary agreement over choosing a location in the Konkan region in Maharashtra. The location should be finalised in the next two months time and then the discussions on the fiscal incentive to be provided to the state government for the land will begin,” said Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural gas.
The OMCs are also considering options to execute the entire 60 million tonne capacity project in one stage. “Discussions are still on whether the project should be executed in two phases or one should attempt the entire 60 million tonnes. These discussions are to see what makes the project more cost effective,” said MK Surana, Chairman and Managing Director, HPCL. The initial plan for the mega refinery included setting up the project in two phases- where 40 million tonne capacity would be set up in the first stage.
In addition to the MoU signed for the west coast refinery, state run oil marketing companies and refineries also entered into ten other MoUs for ethanol refinery projects and start-up initiatives. The ten MoUs included Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC)’s MoU with Praj Industries Ltd for development of ligno-cellulosic ethanol plants, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Institute of Chemical Technology’s MoU for technology transfer for setting up of 2G Biomass Ethanol Bio-refinery at Bina and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation ltd (HPCL)’s MoU with the Department of Investment Promotion, Govt. of Punjab for a similar ethanol bio-refinery and with Institute of Chemical Techonolgy for the techonology involved in it. BPCL also entered into a technology transfer MoU with Praj Industries for a 2G Ethanol refinery in Orissa.
Part of the MoU’s signed was a partnership between Oil india Ltd and IIT, Guwahati for supporting Oil India’s start up initiative. State refiner ONGC Ltd also announced a MoU with IIT Mumbai for its Rs100 crore start –up initiative. ONGC also entered into two separate MoUs with oilfields service providers Halliburton and Schlumberger for production enhancement contract for Kalol field in Gujarat and Geleki field in Assam respectively.
At present HPCL Ltd, BPCL Ltd and IOC will be the equity partners for the planned West Coast refinery projects. IOC will hold 50% stake in the project, while the remaining two will hold 25% stake each. “The parties intend to enter into a consortium agreement with IndianOil as lead member and HPCL and BPCL as other partners in relation to pre-project activities for establishment of West Coast Refinery and Petrochemicals Project through creating a joint venture company,” the statement said.
“We are certainly open for strategic partnership for the project. It is a very large project and we definitely feel that this is the right time for people to look at India to come with investments. While on the one hand the three public sectors that are planning the project are quite capable of setting up the project on our own, but we would certainly welcome the entry of a new player,” said B Ashok, Chairman, IOC.