Following in-ordinate delays, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has finally commissioned the 15 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) Paradip Refinery project in Odisha. With the commissioning of this project, IOC will overtake Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) in terms of its oil refining capacity that stands at 60-62 mtpa through its two giant refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
While the foundation stone of the Paradip refinery was laid way back in 2000 by the then PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the same was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi almost 16 years later on February 7. Interestingly, while Paradip port was established almost 50 years back, it has taken almost 16 years for the refinery to get commissioned in the state.
Speaking about the delays, PM Modi also said that had this project got commissioned 15 years ago, the state would have progressed much more besides new job opportunities for the youth.
The project was dedicated to the nation in the presence of various dignitaries including petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, CM, Odisha, Naveen Patnaik and others.
Modi called Paradip Refinery as the Vikas Deep for Odisha. “The Refinery will contribute to the development of the State and bring new hope for the youth.” Modi especially complimented the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for initiating a number of new initiatives for the benefit of the citizens. He also emphasised the need for more production of LPG in order to reach the clean fuel to millions of Indian households–taking care of women who still work in the kitchen under the smoke of firewood.
This is IOC’s 11th refinery in Orissa that has been built at a cost of Rs 35,000 crores. This is also the largest refinery so far amongst the refineries of other public sector oil companies like Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL).
The refinery is spread over an area of 3,345 acres and is about 140 kms from Bhubaneshwar. The Paradip refinery uses INDMAX technology which is a shining example of Make in India. The technology developed by Indian scientists to convert various hydrocarbon streams into distillates had surprised the world, he said.
This refinery will help in meeting the burgeoning energy demands of the country. For better profitability, the refinery has been designed to process 100% high sulphur, including 40% heavy crude oil of low cost to produce various petroleum products like Petrol, diesel, kerosene, Aviation Turbine fuel, Propylene, Sulphur and Petroleum Coke.
The refinery is capable of producing 50 million litres of petrol, 66 million litres of diesel, 25 million litres of kerosene and jet fuel (ATF) besides 12 million quintals of pet coke.
Importance of this Project for the Nation: The Modi government is has targeted reduction in crude oil imports by 10% by 2022 as the country spend billions of dollars every year towards importing almost 78% of its crude oil requirements. During 2014-15, India’s oil import bill was Rs 6.87 lakh crore (close to $113 billion) as it imported 189,43 million tonnes of crude oil. Thanks to the current fall in crude oil prices, the oil import bill will be the lowest after many years –it had even touched almost $150 billion two years back in the wake of high global oil prices thereby impacting India’s economic parameters such as Fiscal deficit and the current account deficit.
The refinery is also designed to produce premium quality Motor Spirit and other green auto fuel variants for export to advanced countries. While presently, Paradip Refinery will produce Motor Spirit and High Speed Diesel of BS-IV quality and later will switch to BS-VI quality to comply with the Auto Fuel Policy of the Government of India.
Paradip Refinery has a unique INDMAX Unit technology, which is indigenously been developed by Indian Oil’s R&D Centre. The INDMAX Unit is designed to produce 44% LPG, the highest yield in the world from such plants. LPG from the Paradip refinery will replace firewood in rural households. One hour of cooking on firewood is equivalent to smoke of 400 cigarettes being consumed by a rural woman. Modi said the increased LPG production will help rural women get freedom from the firewood smoke.