BPCL to invest Rs20,000-crore for integrated expansion of Kochi refinery

Jan 07, 2013 12:00 AM

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has embarked on a major expansion programme at its Kochi refinery that could take the plant's total refining capacity to 15.5 million tonnes from the current 9.5 million tonnes per annum.

The project will enhance the supply of petroleum fuels such as kerosene, LPG, petrol and diesel. It will also see modernisation of the Kochi refinery, making it capable of producing auto-fuels compliant with Bharat Stage 4 and 5 specifications, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said while laying the foundation stone of the project.

This expansion project, which involves an investment of Rs20,000 crore, will have multiplier effects for Kerala's economy, the prime minister said. The state government is also planning to set up downstream industries in nearby areas, he said.

This would further boost the local economy and provide additional employment and income opportunities to the people of the state, he added.

The expanded Kochi Refinery would be world class both in technology and in the scale of operations. ''This is in line with our objective of establishing world class manufacturing units as Kerala and India develops and gets integrated with the global economy,'' he said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister noted that BPCL has made some significant successes in the upstream exploration and production sector, particularly in Mozambique and Brazil.

With a refining capacity of 215 million metric tonnes per annum, India today is not only self-sufficient in meeting the demand of petroleum products, but is also making substantial exports, the prime minister pointed out.

During 2011-12, India exported 60.8 million metric tonnes of petroleum products worth Rs2,85,000 crore, resulting in petroleum products becoming our single largest merchandise export, he noted.

Since oil and gas will continue to meet a very large part of the country's energy requirements for many years to come, he said, it would also remain dependent on imports for meeting a major portion of its crude oil requirements, unless of course India develops sufficient producing assets or acquires oil assets abroad.

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