The 3 heavy-weights of the Indian downstream sector - Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) - on June 14, 2017, signed a joint venture agreement to create the world’s largest refinery-cum petrochemicals complex in Ratnagiri district at the cost of $40 bln.
The signing of the joint venture agreement took place in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Speaking at the event the oil minister drew parallels of the growth of steel industry in China and how the country was able to dictate pricing of raw materials and steel products due to its capacity.
“For the 1st time in the history of the world, 3 public-sector companies have come together to develop the world’s largest green field refinery. This is going to help India to influence the ever-changing market dynamics in the oil industry and we hope to drive international markets to become more competitive for the benefit of our citizens and our neighbours,” said Pradhan.
According to company officials, the refinery-cum petrochemicals complex is designed to produce Euro-IV and above grade transportation fuels, the refinery will have in-built flexibility for processing a wide spectrum of light and heavy crude oil grades, utilising various blending techniques.
According to the Memorandum of Understanding, Phase-1 of the project is expected to come up in 5-6 years from the date of land acquisition.
India has been struggling to increase its domestic production of crude oil and natural gas.
The country has also been positioning itself to become the refining hub of the world.
The country currently has the 4rth-largest refining capacity in the world and the planned west coast refinery will propel India’s capacity to 294.5 MMTPA from 234.5 MMTPA currently.