The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has cleared Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited’s Kochi refinery expansion, paving the way for the facility here to become the largest public sector refinery in the country.
Completion of the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project will take the capacity of the refinery to 15.5 million tonnes a year from the current level of 9.5 million tonnes.
The expanded facility will produce Euro III/IV compliant auto fuels and various other petroleum products. The project is slated for completion in December 2015.
The Kochi Refinery, then a standalone refinery, commenced operations with a 2.5 million capacity in late 1960s.
A statement issued here on Thursday by BPCL-Kochi refinery said that the expansion of the refining capacity was meant to meet the rising need for high quality fuel in the country and make auto fuels more environment friendly.
The integrated expansion project, besides taking the refining capacity to 15.5 million tonnes a year, also involves modernising the refinery to produce auto fuels compliant with the latest Euro norms; upgrading of low value refinery residue stream to value-added products; production of propylene, which will fuel the first petrochemicals project in Kerala.
The expansion project is estimated to cost around Rs. 14,000 crore.
Along with the expansion, BPCL plans a petrochemicals project, costing Rs. 6,000 crore.
The company has already linked up with Korean LG Chemicals for the project.
The petrochemicals complex will produce acrylates and super absorbent polymer, which will go into downstream units that will churn out products that are now mostly imported.
BPCL’s refinery expansion and petrochemicals project brings in the largest investment in the State at a total volume of Rs. 20,000 crore.
The State government and BPCL signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of Emerging Kerala 2012 in September.
The State government agreed to provide incentives such as deferment of Kerala Goods and Services Tax, VAT and CST as well as to give exemption from Works Contract Tax.
Preparatory work on the refinery expansion project is progressing on schedule with the BPCL signing licence agreements with Stone & Webster of the USA for the fluidised catalytic unit; with Lummus Corporation, USA, for a delayed coker unit; with Halder Topsoe of Denmark for a diesel hydro-treater unit and with Shell of Holland for a vacuum gasoil hydro treater unit.
Plan to make it the largest public sector refinery
To expand capacity to 15.5 million tonnes