Special Correspondent

The company has been asked to sell its cooking gas fuel to local retailers.

NEW DELHI: Asserting that India continued to be a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) deficit country, the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has turned down the request of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Petroleum Limited’s (RPL) to export LPG from its newly commissioned refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

Instead, the company has been asked to sell its cooking gas fuel to the local companies.

RPL had sought nod to export the entire LPG production from the 5.80 lakh barrels a day refinery in the Jamnagar Special Economic Zone when it is fully commissioned. However, the Petroleum Ministry after giving full consideration to the request informed RPL that in view of India facing shortage of LPG, it would not be feasible to entertain the company’s request.

RPL had sought permission to export 30,000 tonnes a month of LPG from the new unit till March. Further, an additional 5,000 tonnes a day of LPG was sought to be exported from April till all major units were commissioned.

The Petroleum Ministry has asked RPL to sell the fuel to state-run retailers to meet domestic demand. Reliance Industries’ existing unit, which was converted into an only-for-export unit last year, too is not allowed to export LPG. All other products from the refinery as well as the new unit can be shipped to markets overseas.

The $6-billion new unit is one of the most complex refineries in the world, capable of processing the most difficult crude oils.