Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone for the integrated refinery expansion and modernisation projects of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. here on Monday. The stone-laying ceremony will signal the beginning of work on a pair of projects that involve a total investment of more than Rs. 20,000 crore.

The Rs. 14,000-crore integrated expansion of the refinery will make BPCL’s Kochi facility the largest public sector refinery in the country with an annual capacity of 15.5 million tonnes. It signals the establishment of Kerala’s first petrochemicals complex involving an investment of Rs. 6,000 crore.

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, Union Petroleum Minister Veeerappa Moily, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his senior Cabinet colleagues will be among those present at the occasion.

The environmental clearance for the integrated refinery expansion, which also involves equipping the refinery with capacity to produce Euro IV/V-compliant auto fuels, was received in November last year.

Stone & Webster of the U.S. will provide technology for the refinery’s fluidised catalytic unit. Lummus Corporation, U.S., is the technology provider for the delayed coker unit and Halder Topsoe of Denmark for the diesel hydro-treater unit.

The public sector oil refiner has LG Chemicals of South Korea as its joint venture partner for the petrochemicals complex, which will use propylene from the expanded facility to produce acrylates, phenol and superabsorbent polymer.

The petrochemicals complex is expected to unleash a wave of fresh industrial activity in the State, with industry sources expecting at least a score of downstream units that will use propylene from the refinery.

Considering the importance of the project, the State government signed an agreement with the BPCL on the sidelines of the Emerging Kerala Summit 2012 in September for providing incentives such as the deferment of taxes.