Indian Oil Corp, HPCL and BPCL are planning to jointly build India's biggest refinery on the west coast, IOC Director (Refineries) Sanjiv Singh said today.8 "We (at IOC) have been looking at west coast for a refinery as catering to customers in west and south was difficult with our refineries mostly in the north. HPCL has also been looking at a bigger refinery because of constraints it faces at the Mumbai unit," he said.
So now, IOC, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd will jointly set up a "very large refinery" at a suitable location on the west coast, he said. "The concept has gone beyond thinking stage and is now under conception," he said. Asked about the size of the refinery, he said, "It will be way bigger than 15 million tons." Fifteen million tons a year is the biggest refinery any public sector unit has set up in one stage. IOC recently started its 15 million tons unit at Paradip in Odisha.
Reliance Industries holds the distinction of building the biggest refinery in India till now. It built its first refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat with a capacity of 27 million tons, which was subsequently expanded to 33 million tons. It has built another unit adjacent to it for exports, with a capacity of 29 million tons. The refinery being planned by the state-owned firms will be "bigger than that," he said, adding that the refinery will cost Rs 25 billion per million tons. "The size, investment and configuration are all under works," he said.
The refinery will also be accompanied by a petrochemical complex. Being on the west coast will provide the unit a natural advantage of easily sourcing crude oil from the Middle East and Africa, he said. Also, moving products to consumption heartland will not be difficult. IOC has six refineries with a total capacity of 54.20 million tons. It also has subsidiary refineries with 11.50 million tons capacity. The 15 million tons refinery at Paradip will achieve "continuous production by month end," he said. This will take IOC's refining capacity to 80.7 million tons.