The Rajasthan government today signed a joint venture agreement with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) for the upcoming mega petroleum refinery in Barmer at a cost of Rs 431.29 billion. Under the agreement, HPCL will hold 74 per cent stake in the joint venture, HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Ltd, while the state government will hold the rest 26 per cent.
The agreement was signed in presence of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje by the Secretary, Mines and Petroleum, Aparna Arora and HPCL's Director (Finance) J Ramaswamy. Raje expressed satisfaction at the progress of the establishment of the refinery and said that all necessary approvals for Rajasthan refinery will be acquired in the prescribed timeframe. She further said it is the state government's endeavour to get the work started immediately after ground breaking ceremony. The CM said that as a result of the re-negotiation with HPCL, a significant savings of Rs 400 billion have been ensured in the project cost. She said that under the new conditions, the state will now get 12 per cent return on investment (investment income) than the 2 per cent fixed in the previous agreement.
Raje said that Barmer refinery will be the country's first refinery project to manufacture petro-products of BS-6 standard and will be an environmental friendly project. She instructed the officials to make local youths job ready for the refinery and related industries through ITI and skill development centres. She asked officials to explore the possibilities of establishing a petroleum institute in West Rajasthan. Raje said the project, being set up to prepare petroleum and various types of petro-chemical products from Rajasthan crude oil, will not only strengthen the economy of Barmer but the entire Western Rajasthan.
She said that Western Rajasthan would emerge as the hub of petroleum subsidiaries, which would generate direct and indirect employment opportunities. During the signing ceremony, Water Resources Minister Ram Pratap and Minister of State for Minerals and Petroleum Surendra Pal Singh, Chief Secretary Ashok Jain, HPCL CMD MK Surana and Additional Chief Secretary of the State Mines and Petroleum NC Goyal and other senior officials were present.