The Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers is planning to revise the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Industrial Region (PCPIR) policy 2007 after three of the four PCPIRs failed to achieve the “desired success”.
Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, said barring Dahej PCPIR, where the anchor tenant ONGC Petro-additions Ltd (OPaL) has initiated operations, “the remaining three at Vishakhapatnam-Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, Paradeep in Odisha and Cuddalore-Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu have not made any significant progress.
“Even after seven years of the policy’s rollout, nothing much has happened at these PCPIRs except some development in Dahej… We need to put our minds together on what needs to be done (to improve it). The government is discussing a revision in the PCPIR policy,” said Kapoor during his address at the 6th Petrochemical Conclave organised by the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Kapoor said, “The key issue is that the industry feels that the anchor tenant in the PCPIR is not sparing feedstock for downstream units and they are converting the available polymers into bulk polymers.”
Cutting land norms
The Centre is also considering to bring down the land requirements for a PCPIR from 250 sq km now to about 50 sq km. The Ministry may also look at the concept of multiple anchor tenants or cracker project investors at the seaport-based PCPIRs.
PCPIRs are infrastructure-driven projects where the Centre provides support for development of external physical infrastructure linkages such as rail, road, port, airport, telecom through Viability Gap Funding (VGF). The policy aims to attract investments worth $100 billion through PCPIRs.
Currently, the country imports 10 million tonnes of chemicals and petrochemicals worth ₹65,000 crore, which is likely to grow to 46 million tonnes and over ₹200,000 crore by 2030.
The proposed policy revision comes at a time when other States such as Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra have evinced interest in setting up PCPIRs.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, inaugurated the Conclave, which was being held outside Delhi for the first time.
“With the synergy of feedstock availability, the Indian oil and gas PSUs have invested in a big way in world-scale petrochemical complexes, and continue to do so. There is a need for setting up petrochemical clusters downstream, adjacent to the refineries, that will have all the infrastructure for doing business at one place.
“This will create an eco-system of entrepreneurship and employment while at the same time meet the rising demand for petrochemical intermediates and polymer/plastic products,” said Pradhan.