Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) will build a second-generation biofuel plant at the Kochi Refinery site, which will convert agricultural and municipal waste into ethanol. India’s state-owned oil company will invest INR500 crores (USD74.8 million) in the biofuel refinery.
“The ethanol can be mixed with petrol and used as a green fuel,“ said Union Minister of State for Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan.
BPCL-KR is also setting up a petrochemical complex, which will bring about employment opportunity and increased economic activity in the state of Kerala, he added.
Kochi, a major port city on the southwest coast of India, could be a petrochemical hub, supported by the Cochin Port, Vallarpadom Terminal and Cochin Shipyard, Pradhan said.
Celebrating the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Kochi Refinery, Pradhan said that an investment of INR 30,000 crore (USD4.4 billion) is being implemented in Kerala. The crude oil processing capacity of the Kochi refinery, which was commissioned in 1966 by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, is being expanded to 15.5 million tonnes per year. Kochi’s Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP) is expected to be complete by December 2016.
IREP would transform the refinery into one of the largest public sector refineries in India.