Leading oil exploration company Saudi Aramco, which is planning to set up a mega refinery in India, has evinced interest in going ahead with the venture at Krishnapatnam in Nellore. The firm had initially contemplated setting up the refinery in Maharashtra investing $40 billion, but the joint venture did not take off. After a detailed study, representatives of the firm identified a 640 square-km plot in the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemicals Investment Region with six SEZs as a suitable spot for setting up the oil refinery.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with Saudi Aramco vice-president Syed Hadrami on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday and explained to him the advantages of investing in the state. The V-P has been invited to attend the Partnership Summit to be held in
Visakhapatnam in February. Explaining in detail the state’s 974-km coastline, availability of oil resources in the Krishna-Godavari basin and its two industrial corridors, Naidu said his government would develop Krishnapatnam as a logistics hub and so setting up the refinery there would be commercially viable. Hadrami in turn said he was “very impressed” and would send the firm’s team to meet representatives of the government in Mumbai by January-end.
State Bank of India chairman Rajneesh Kumar called on Naidu in Davos and congratulated him over the construction of Amaravati and responded positively to Naidu’s suggestion of setting up an SBI regional head office in Amaravati.Naidu also met Tarek Sultan Al Essa, Chief Executive Officer of Agility Logistics, and Director Eugene Mayne to discuss the company’s expansion plans. “We want to explore opportunities in India, and AP in particular as I have heard that the State is very advanced in technology,” said Tarek Sultan.
“We are currently working on Logistics University,” said the Chief Minister expressing optimism over possible collaboration. He also mentioned that Agility Logistics currently handles ground operations for the Mumbai Airport and a few airports in Africa. “We don’t need you to convince us that we should invest in AP. We are already convinced. What we need to understand now is how and when,” he said. A delegation from Agility Logistics is soon expected to visit Amaravati and take the process ahead.
Medtech Innovation Centre
The Chief Minister met with delegates of Medtech Innovation Centre, a Swiss-based venture investor, specialising in the healthcare sector. Medtech Innovation Centre signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board last year to bring close to 150 companies to Andhra Pradesh. Officials reported that the progress has been “great till now” and a letter of intent with about 50 companies had already been signed.
Sixty companies were lined up in the first phase of the project. All 150 companies are expected to set up base in Andhra Pradesh by the end of the second phase. The Medtech delegation informed the Chief Minister that their primary aim was to create an eco system where companies can flourish. He was also informed that they would be starting with the European segment of the Vizag Medtech Park and would eventually go on to establish their own independent park. The project is expected to provide employment opportunities to around 50,000 highly-skilled technicians and scientists. Additionally, close to 0.1 million indirect job opportunities are expected to be created.