Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) is adding a new unit for production of petrochemicals at the operator’s 15.5-million tonne/year (tpy) Kochi refinery at Ambalamugal, Ernakulam district, in the Indian state of Kerala.
Approved by BPCL’s board on Dec. 19, the proposed 50.44-billion rupee ($607.10-million) project will include installation of a grassroots polypropylene unit with a production capacity of 400,000 tpy, the operator said in regulatory filings to BSE Ltd. and the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd.
With an estimated timeframe for completion in 46 months, the proposed capacity addition comes as part of the company’s plan to meet India’s robust and growing demand for petrochemicals using readily available supplies of propylene feedstock for polypropylene production, BPCL said.
The decision to advance installation of the polypropylene production unit follows BPCL’s undertaking of the proposed project’s environmental impact assessment in March 2023, according to the company’s 2022-23 annual report to investors.
For the 2022-23 fiscal year ending Mar. 31, 2023, the Kochi refinery averaged overall throughputs of 16.12 million tpy, including crude oil throughputs of 16.02 million tpy—both well above the site’s rated nameplate capacity—to achieve a capacity utilization of 103.3%, data from the annual report showed.
Kochi’s improved performance during the year resulted from continuous improvement initiatives carried out across the operator’s refining system to enhance operational efficiency of the manufacturing sites, BPCL said.