Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily on Wednesday launched the work on an R&D facility of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) near Hoskote.

Although the Minster was unable to reach the site, which is about 10 km from Hoskote, in time before the Election Commission of India announced the Lok Sabha election schedule, with which the model code of conduct came into effect, he managed to unveil a plaque for the facility at Hoskote.

A senior company official told The Hindu that HPCL was investing about Rs. 550 crore to Rs. 600 crore on the new facility at Devangunti village. “This will become the single biggest R&D facility of the company in the country,” he said. While Rs. 312 crore would be invested in Phase I of the project, the remaining would be for the second phase, he said. The company has an R&D facility in Mumbai, which caters to the company’s lube business and “marketing activity”, the official said.

“We hope to integrate the activities of the Mumbai centre with the one near Hoskote.” Phase I was likely to be up and running in six months, he said, and added that the company would employ 150 people, including 80 core personnel.

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