To meet the rising demand for petrochemicals, especially plastics and polymers, largest public sector company IndianOil will invest Rs 320 billion to ramp up its output by fiscal 2021. This investment is part of the overall Rs 1.8 trillion capex planned for the next five to seven years, IOC chairman Sanjiv Singh said here today. The petrochemical business contributes a quarter of the most profitable PSU’s profit, which rose to the highest at Rs 191.06 billion in fiscal 2017.
Indian Oil has already executed petchem projects worth Rs 208 billion and is close to commission a Rs 31.50 billion polypropelene plant at its 15-million tonne refinery at Paradip in Odisha. Addressing the shareholders at the 58th AGM, the chairman said, “In view of the growing demand for petrochemicals products, especially for plastics and polymers, the company will invest in capacity augmentation. The capex for this is planned at Rs 320 billion over the next few years.”
The new projects include MEG (mono ethylene glycol), PTA (purified terephtalic acid) and petcoke gasification plants at the Paradip refinery and value addition at C-4 and C-5 at Panipat and a polypropylene unit at Barauni Refinery, he added. Singh said the company reported its highest profit at Rs 191.06 billion in fiscal 2017 on the back of best ever sales, refinery production and became the most profitable PSU. During the year, company’s sales rose to Rs 4387.10 billion. On the overall capex plan, he said, the PSU has lined up a capex of Rs 1.8 trillion over the next five to seven years.
“This capex is to scale up our investments in areas to ensure that IOC grows profitably in terms of volumes and revenue. This will see investment of around Rs 300 billion per annum in asset creation such as the expansion of the Gujarat, Barauni, Panipat and Paradip refineries. On the gas pipelines, he said, IOC will have over 20,000-km of natural gas and liquid fuel pipes by fiscal 2021. Currently, the oil and gas major has 13,000-km of the 15,000-km operational pipelines, making it the largest player in the country.
The government has set a target of doubling the 15,000-km gas pipeline to 30,000-km by then. In terms of natural gas distribution, where IOC is the second largest player, the company will be investing in gas infra to meet future needs of the nation by building terminals and pipelines and pursuing city gas distribution. It has picked up 50 per cent in Petronet LNG’s Kochi terminal already. “As part of this, we are acquiring equity in gas imports in the South, increasing capacity at our Ennore facility and also joining hands with others to have presence on the East Coast at Dharma and on the West Coast at Mundra,” Singh said, without elaborating.
On city gas distribution, he said the company will be entering four more cities this year through JVs — Daman, Udhamsingh Nagar, Panipat and Dharwar, while it already has such pipelines in Kochi, Allahabad and Chandigarh in JV with Adani Gas and with GAIL in Agra and Lucknow, Singh said. He said the cooking gas coverage has risen from 56 per cent to 73 per cent in the past three years when 27.5 million new connections were added, out of this 12 million LPG customers are being served by IOC alone.
On the world’s largest refinery being planned in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, land acquisition and other related work is underway and an optimal product plan will be worked out shortly. The proposed 60 million tonne per annum mega refinery with an investment of Rs 2.7 trillion will have IOC holding 50 per cent in the JV company formed in June while the rest of the equity will be equally held by the other two state-run refiners HPCL and BPCL. This refinery is part of government plans to almost double the national refining capacity to 450 million tonne from 230 MT now.