Millennium Post

‘JV with LG Chem off, but Kochi petchem project not shelved’

Bharat Petroleum has said there is no question of shelving its ambitious plan of foraying into niche petrochemicals with the Rs 5,000-crore Kochi petrochemicals project, though its joint venture with Korean major LG Chem for the same has reached a dead-end.
'Yes, it is true that even after inking the MoU with us in July last year, LG Chem has not confirmed its participation in the Kochi petrochemicals project.

'But let me assure you that there is no plan to shelve the project as we have already started discussions with other companies,' BPCL's outgoing chairman and managing director R K Singh told reporters here over the weekend at the post-AGM press briefing.

Singh said the talks with the Korean company were at a very advanced stage and there were no differences so far. 'It is their decision as there has been no major problem on anything in the MoU. They (LG Chem) are saying the global environment is not very conducive for large investment but it seems they have some other plans and have already made some investment elsewhere,' Singh said.

'There is no question of shelving the project as this is a very important diversification for us. We will be the first company in the country to make specialty chemicals. We are in discussions with other global players who have this particular technology to manufacture the specialty chemicals. We are even open to get the technology licensed to us,' he said.

Refineries director B K Datta later said that there are only five companies which have the technology to make speciality propylene derivatives in the world, and BPCL is talking to all of them. No domestic refinery has the technology to make speciality propylene derivatives, and they are being imported now, said Datta.

BPCL and LG Chem had inked an MoU to set up the project adjacent to BPCL's Kochi refinery complex at an estimated investment of Rs 5,000 crore in July 2012. It was to be a part of the refinery's expansion project.

Datta said the company has acquired the additional 100 acres of land for the expansion of petchemical project, but the green nod for the petchemical project is awaited.
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