State-run oil refiner and marketer (BPCL) today commissioned a new 6-million ton crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Mumbai refinery, which will take the capacity of its oldest facility to 12 million ton per annum.
The Rs 1,419-crore CDU, fourth unit was completed as per schedule. BPCL Chairman and Managing Director S Varadarajan said the modern technologies employed in the unit will help the PSU save Rs 1.28 billion annually by way of lower (a whopping 30 per cent less from the current levels) fuel consumption alone.
The facility was dedicated to the nation by Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis in the presence of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Mahul on the eastern fringe of the megapolis.
Varadarajan said with the new CDU, the Mumbai facility has the lowest suplhur dioxide emission levels, at 10.5 million ton per day, amongst all refineries in the country.
Following this commissioning, BPCL will dismantle two older crude vacuum and distillation units that were set up in 1955 by Burma Shell, the private sector parent of BPCL, and create space for modernisation at the land-starved refinery. BPCL has only 454 acres for the entire refinery.
The Mumbai refinery was set up by Burma Shell way back in 1955 with a capacity of 2.2 mtpa. A decade later, the Government nationalised the oil sector and Burma Shell was renamed as Bharat Petroleum Corporation. The facility is in the vicinity of vital installations like BARC, HPCL refinery, Tata Power unit and RCF Chemicals plant.
The BPCL plant was constructed by the state-owned Engineers India and boasts of the latest technologies in space. It will help boost the PSU's very low gross refining margins due to the higher distillate yield of 3 per cent. BPCL's refining margins are nearly half the average of private players like Reliance and Essar Oil thanks to their modern units.