KOLKATA (ICIS)--India's Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) will invest $3.6bn (€2.9bn) to increase its refining capacity to 9m tonne/year from the current level of 3m tonne/year, a company official said on Wednesday.
The proposal submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum was approved last week and a detailed project report will be commissioned shortly, the official said.
The completion date for the project will be decided after the detailed project report has been finalised and approved, the official added.
The expansion project will also include construction of a 150km pipeline to transport high-speed diesel (HSD) to Bangladesh, he said.
NRL, which operates a standalone grass root refinery at Numaligarh, in north Indian province of Assam, will also build a pipeline connecting the refinery to Dhamra Port, operated by a joint venture of Tata Group and L&T in eastern Indian province of Orissa, for import of crude through the port, the official added.
NRL was also investing $108.5m to build a 43,000 tonne/year plant for production of paraffin wax and semi-microcrystalline wax, which will be commissioned in the third quarter of 2013.
The addition of a naphtha splitter entailing a cost of $11m to the refinery will be complete by the end of 2012 that will facilitate supply of naphtha feedstock to Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymers Limited (BCPL) project currently under implementation at Lepetkata, also in the same province.
Under an agreement between NRL and BCPL, the NRL is committed to supply 160,000 tonne/year of naphtha feedstock to the cracker unit subject to minimum availability of 3m/year crude to the refinery, the official said.
BCPL is planning to complete a cracker and polymer complex by July 2013 that will comprise a 220,000 tonne/ year HDPE/LLDPE swing plant, a 60,000 tone/ year polypropylene unit, a 55,000 tonne/year raw pyrolysis gasoline plant, and 12,500 tonne/year fuel oil unit based on naphtha and gas as feedstock.
The naphtha will be sourced from NRL while the gas will come from from Oil India Ltd fields in Assam.
NRL is a joint venture of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Government of Assam and Oil India Limited, with 61.65%, 12.35% and 26% shareholding respectively.
($1 = €0.81)
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(Originally published July 18, 2012, in Chemical News & Intelligence.)