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India to Invest in Oil Processing Capacity

The investment will increase the refiner's crude oil processing capacity to 80 million metric tons a year

Indian Oil Corp., the nation's largest refiner, plans to spend 432.5 billion rupees ($11 billion) in the next five years to add capacity and build new facilities as economic growth boosts fuel demand.

The investment will increase the state-run refiner's crude- oil processing capacity to 80 million metric tons a year, or 1.6 million barrels a day, Chairman S. Behuria told shareholders in Mumbai yesterday, according to the text of his speech on the company's Web site. That would be a 69 percent gain from the 47.35 million tons it currently processes.

State-run refiners are adding capacity to maintain their share of the country's 118 million metric tons-a-year fuel market as rivals Reliance Industries Ltd. and Essar Oil Ltd. build new plants. New Delhi-based Indian Oil, which last year completed a doubling the capacity of its Panipat refinery, is building plants and expanding existing operations as demand for fuels and chemicals surges, Behuria said.

Demand for gasoline and diesel may rise as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeks to boost growth in the $854 billion economy to 10 percent a year from an average 8.6 percent in the past three years.