India approves refining complex in Barmer

India’s government has officially approved Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) to set up its proposed refinery and petrochemical complex in Barmer district, Rajasthan.

India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas approved the project on July 16, the ministry said.

The planned refinery, which will be established in collaboration with the government of the Indian state of Rajasthan, will have a crude processing capacity of 9 million tonnes/year, the ministry said.

The official approval follows a memorandum of understanding for the project previously signed by HPCL and Rajasthan (OGJ Online, Mar. 14, 2013).

The complex, which is to be implemented by HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Ltd. (HRRL), a joint venture of HPCL and other equity partners, would use crude produced locally and from elsewhere, making it Rajasthan’s first refinery and India’s first petrochemical plant designed to process indigenous crude.

HRRL will be required to import feedstocks only when the complex begins commercial production, the ministry said.

Currently, mechanical construction of the project has not started, and India’s central government has yet to provide an exemption in excise duty for the proposed refinery, according to Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan.

A timetable for when construction on the complex will begin was not disclosed.

The Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas previously estimated the project cost at $6.85 billion and construction time at 4 years (OGJ Online, Mar. 14, 2013).

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