Andhra Pradesh

PCPIR project revival move raises fresh hopes

A view of HPCL Visakha Refinery which is being expanded.

A view of HPCL Visakha Refinery which is being expanded.  

Several units likely to come up between Vizag, Kakinada

Several petrochemical units will come up between the coastal cities of Visakhapatnam and Kakinada if the State government’s plan to give a push to Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) becomes a reality.

Though the project conceived a decade ago, it has not taken off due to a variety of reasons including lack of anchor units, protests over plan to develop Coastal Corridor and later protests over public hearing and the Centre’s decision to have a relook at the policy. However, finally it moves forward with the YSR Congress Party government’s decision to finalise timeline for implementation of the multi-product investment region.

Sources in PCPIR Development Authority have told The Hindu that a decision has been taken to scout for investors with the recent promise by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to pump in an investment of ₹2 lakh crore in various projects between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada.

“It’s a good news that the government wants to revive PCPCIR. We expect the connectivity issues to be addressed as a priority to woo investors in the petrochemical sector,” remarks G. Sambasiva Rao, immediate past president of AP Chambers of Commerce.

One of the major investments now in advanced stage of implementation is the expansion of HPCL Visakh Refinery. The modernisation project will increase the production capacity from 8.33 million tonne to 15 million tonne with an investment of ₹20,928 crore by July 2020. The city is also home to LPG as well as crude oil caverns.

The ambitious project received a major setback after HPCL-GAIL-TOTAL refinery complex investment plan has been shelved at Atuchutapuram following which APIIC cancelled the allotment of 1,500 acres near the AP Special Economic Zone (APSEZ). The MoU signed with Watya India Consortium of Kuwait for establishing a $2 billion refinery at Parawada and an LPG terminal at Gangavaram Port by Petronet LNG Ltd with an investment of ₹9,000 crore did not take off.

During a recent global summit on petrochemical industries in Mumbai, State Minister for Industries Mekapati Gowtham Reddy said they had received firm commitment for an investment of $15.72 billion on two refineries at Kakinada.

Original plan

As per the original proposal, PCPIR was supposed to come up in an area of 603.58 sq. km with an estimated investment of ₹3.43 lakh crore to generate direct and indirect jobs to 12 lakh over a period of five to seven years. “Speedy implementation of Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor will give a fillip to investments in PCPIR,” says Symbiosys Technology CEO O. Naresh Kumar.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 10:20:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/pcpir-project-revival-move-raises-fresh-hopes/article30083625.ece

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