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India seeks strategic investment ties with Qatar for petro projects

Special Correspondent
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Jaipal Reddy
Jaipal Reddy

India has offered Qatar stake in some of the major petro projects, including the petrochemicals complex at Dahej in Gujarat, Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC's) LNG project in Ennore, Tamil Nadu, BPCL's petrochemical project in Kochi, petrochemical project in Mangalore and investment opportunity in the Paradip refinery and petrochemical project to further enhance its strategic partnership and ties. These big ticket investment offers were made to Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani during his talks with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Jaipal Reddy.

According to official documents, India offered to Qatar a strategic partnership in the Dahej petrochemical complex being developed in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is the promoter of the project on the West Coast. The estimated cost of the project is around $4.25 billion. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

The government has sought the co-operation of Qatar for long-term supplies of LNG for the IOC's LNG project at Ennore in Tamil Nadu. IOC is pursuing a 2.5 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) (expandable to 5 mmtpa) LNG import and re-gasification terminal. Ennore Port Ltd. has earmarked the land for LNG storage and re-gasification terminal and water front for the LNG jetty. Feasibility studies and management approval process for the project are under progress.

Similarly, IOC is also implementing a 15 mmtpa refinery at Paradip, which is expected to be commissioned soon. The original configuration of the refinery had included production of petrochemicals based on FCC (fluid catalytic cracking) off-gases, as part of an integrated refinery-cum-petrochemical complex. The petrochemical complex however, was subsequently deferred and the process configuration of the complex has been revised to fuels-refinery.

However, IOC has now initiated a detailed feasibility study of petrochemicals complex based on FCC off-gases. IOC is also keen to put up a naphtha cracker and downstream polymer based on the surplus naphtha from IOC's East Coast refineries. The feasibility study is planned to be taken up shortly and IOC has sought developing the project in a joint venture with the National Oil Companies of Qatar.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has also proposed to set up a petrochemical complex at Kochi and is on the look out for an established global petrochemical player as partner. The project is expected to cost around Rs.9,000 crore and BPCL has put up an investment proposal before the Qatar Government for the project. In addition to this, the government has discussed the issue of offering strategic investment partner status to Qatar for the petrochemicals complex being set up by the special purpose vehicles (SPV), ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Limited (OMPL). The project is expected to cost around $1.25 billion.


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