IndianOil, BPCL and HPCL sign joint venture agreement for West Coast Refinery Project

India’s emergence as a global refining hub received a big boost with the three downstream public sector undertaking (PSU) oil majors, Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL), joining hands to build one of the world’s largest integrated refinery-cum-petrochemicals complexes in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

The joint venture agreement for the West Coast Refinery Project was signed on 14 June by Sanjiv Singh, chairman, IndianOil; D. Rajkumar, CMD, BPCL; and M.K. Surana, chairman, HPCL, in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of State, Petroleum & Natural Gas; and K.D. Tripathi, secretary, Petroleum.

Being on the west coast will provide the unit a natural advantage of easily sourcing crude oil from the Middle East, Africa and South America.

The 60 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) west coast refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex will be a state-of-the-art unit built at an estimated cost of USD40 billion, and is expected to be commissioned by the year 2022. It will be a greenfield refinery, comprising 50 units designed to operate at the highest level of efficiency, and will be self-sufficient in power and utilities requirements, besides creating a benchmark in environment management.

Designed to produce Euro VI-compliant transportation fuels, the refinery will have built-in flexibility for processing a wide spectrum of light and heavy crude oil grades, utilising various blending techniques. It will also be able to produce on-demand product mix of petrol and diesel fuel streams, as well as other refined products and petrochemical streams, with the highest level of integration and energy efficiency.

The preliminary configuration study of the project is being carried out by M/s. Engineers India Ltd., in association with an international consultant. M/s. IHS has been entrusted with the market study for the chemicals and petrochemicals to be produced at the complex.

Apart from the main refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex, the viability of other associated industries in the vicinity of the project is also being examined so that all stakeholders can be involved in the megaproject.

IndianOil will be the lead partner with a 50% while Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum will each take a 25% stake. Reportedly, Saudi Aramco also wants to enter into talks to buy a stake in the refinery.