It plans to invest Rs. 40,000 crore in them

With the State government promising a green channel, HPCL has redoubled its efforts to revive its mega Greenfield refinery at Atchutapuram, near here and expand the capacity of its Brownfield refinery.

Both projects, which hit a roadblock due to market meltdown, did hit adversely the investments projected in the Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petroleum Investment Region (PCPIR).

Everyone in fact gave up the hope that HPCL would go ahead with the Greenfield refinery with a capacity of 15 million ton per annum at APSEZ, Atchutapuram, after APIIC cancelled the allotment last year and refunded the amount it had received during 2005-06 for not grounding work on time.

HPCL, which had formed a five-way alliance with GAIL, Oil India, Mittal Energy and TOTAL of France, could not make any progress in setting up the mega refinery as the last two firms were severely hit by global market meltdown. Thus, 1500-acre allotment was cancelled by APIIC.

“As there are good signs, now we want to seek 3,500 acres from APIIC either at the same place where allotment was made earlier or anywhere close-by,” a senior official of HPCL told The Hindu from Mumbai. APIIC sources indicated that they are not averse to allotment but it will be done with a fixed timeframe.

Visakh Refinery, which has 8.5 million tonne capacity, abandoned its expansion plan due to recession and congestion at the existing premises. However, with hopes rekindled on Atchutapuram project recently, it also wants to expand the capacity of the refinery to 15 million ton as part of strategies for sustainable performance.

Modalities

Both these projects will involve an investment of Rs.40,000 crore. Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy himself impressed upon Union Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Sunday to work out the modalities to expedite both the projects. While Mr. Moily directed the mandarins in his ministry to give all the clearances for the twin projects, Mr. Reddy promised all support on fast-track mode.

PCPIR, which is proposed in 603 square km is expected to get $75 billion investment in first five years of operation.