Millennium Post

HPCL, Mittal ready $3 bn for Bhatinda petrochem unit

HPCL, Mittal ready $3 bn for Bhatinda petrochem unit
State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and its partner Lakshmi N Mittal will invest about $3 billion in setting up a petrochemical complex at their Bhatinda refinery in Punjab.
HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), a joint venture between HPCL and Mittal Energy Investments Pvt Ltd, Singapore, plans to set up an up to 1.7-million tonne naphtha cracker unit to produce basic raw material that goes into making of plastics.

"It will be a 1.2-million tonne plant, expandable to 1.7 mt," HPCL Chairman and Managing Director M K Surana said here.

Though setting up a petrochemical plant takes up to four years, HMEL plans to fast-track the process to build it in lesser time.

"We have land and other infrastructure at the Bhatinda refinery," he said, adding that the project will be formally announced shortly after investment approvals.

He said the $350 million expansion of Bhatinda refinery capacity to 11.25 mt per annum from the current 9 mt will be completed next month.

The refinery has taken its first 45-day maintenance shutdown to complete hooking up of the new units, he said, adding that additional volumes will cater to growth in demand in northern India.
This will be HPCL's first petrochemical plant in Northern India. The company has refineries in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam.

HPCL and steel baron Mittal are equal partners in the Bhatinda refinery in Punjab. HPCL and Mittal Investment Sarl hold 48.94 per cent stake each in HMEL while the balance is with financial institutions.
HMEL had also plans to expand Bhatinda refinery capacity further to 10 mt, but Surana did not speak on the same.

HPCL is investing Rs 45,000 crore by 2020 for expansion of its Mumbai and Visakhapatnam refineries as well as augmenting its marketing infrastructure.

It is investing Rs 4,199 crore in expanding its Mumbai refinery capacity to 9.5 mt per annum from the current 6.5 mmtpa.
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