Bharat Petroleum Corporation Chairman D Rajkumar today exuded confidence that the proposed Rs 2-lakh crore mega refinery in the ecologically sensitive Konkan belt will get green nod and hopes to complete the world’s largest refinery complex in four years.
“Once you really start, it should take about 36-48 months for completion. The first thing that needs to get done is getting the land and getting the environmental clearance. We need to apply for all those. As of now we’re not seeing any hurdles,” he told reporters here.
The proposed 60 million tonne per annum refinery will be built by the three state-run oil companies under which IndianOil will hold 50 per cent equity and BPCL and HPCL holding the remaining stakes equally.
On the crucial issue of land acquisition, where up to 15,000 acres are required, he said the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation is helping it. “Our location has already been finalised and the activities related to land acquisition have already started. Maharashtra has been very co-operative and through MIDC the land will be acquired.”
Rajkumar said the refinery, which will be the world’s largest, is slated to come up at Babulwadi near Rajapur in Ratnagiri district in the ecologically sensitive coastal Konkan belt.
Incidentally, the refinery will be located very close to the Jaitapur nuclear power project, where the country is erecting its biggest nuclear power project with a 10,000-mw capacity. The Jaitapur nuclear power project has faced opposition from the locals, leading to some deaths as well in the past.
The project includes a refinery and a petrochemical complex, which will require 10,000 acres and 5,000 acres respectively, taking the total land requirement to 15,000 acres and will involve Rs 2 trillion investment.
Rajkumar said this will be a joint venture between the three companies and the JV will be operationalised later this month or early August.
Earlier, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said the 60-million tonne refinery was aimed at meeting the future fuel demand which is expected to touch 458 million tonne by 2040.
IndianOil has been looking at the West Coast for a refinery as catering to its customers in the West and the South was difficult with its refineries mostly in the North, while HPCL and BPCL have also been looking at a bigger refineries due to constraints they face in their Mumbai units.
The proposed refinery will produce petrol, diesel, LPG, ATF and feedstock for making petrochemical that are basic building blocks in plastic, chemical and textile industries.
The 15- million tonne IOC refinery at Paradip is the biggest in the public sector while Reliance’ 62 million tonne Jamnagar is the biggest single location facility both in the world and in the country.
Reliance built its first refinery at Jamnagar with a capacity of 27 million tonne, which was subsequently expanded to 33 million tonne. It has built another unit adjacent to it for exports, with a capacity of 29 million tonne.
Being on the West Coast will provide the unit a natural advantage of easily sourcing crude oil from West Asia, Africa and South America, officials said, adding the East Coast is not being considered as shipping crude oil there will add at least USD 1 per barrel to cost.
Also, moving products to consumption heartland from the West will not be difficult.
As of March 2017, the country currently had a refining capacity of 232.066 million tonne, which exceeded the demand of 194.2 million tonne in 2016-17 fiscal. The International Energy Agency estimates the domestic oil demand to reach 458 million tonne by 2040.