BPCL eyes Masula for refinery project

Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh is likely to get a major refinery project soon. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited has shown keen interest in setting up a refinery in Machilipatnam. BPCL Chairman and MD G Krishna Kumar on Wednesday discussed the project proposal with Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. The company has proposed to increase its refining capacity to 45 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) by 2029. Naidu said, “Machilipatnam is strategically located on the east coast of the country. Andhra Pradesh has significant petrochemical potential. I had a fruitful meeting with Krishna Kumar and we explored the possibility of setting up an oil refinery and petrochemical corridor with an investment of Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore.” The CM had sought a detailed feasibility report which BPCL promised to submit within 90 days. BPCL wants about 5,000 acres of land for the project. Naidu said the government is looking forward to completing it without any hassle. According to company sources, the project could generate around 20,000 jobs. It is worth mentioning here that BPCL operates three refineries located in Mumbai, Kochi and Bina (Madhya Pradesh) with a combined annual refining capacity of around 36 MMTPA. There was stiff competition for the project as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were trying to clinch the deal. Soon after the TDP-led coalition government came to power, BPCL showed interest in exploring the possibility of setting up a refinery in Andhra Pradesh. Following this, Naidu met Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri during his recent visit to Delhi and urged him to help the state and ensure its announcement in the Union Budget to be presented on July 23. It is learnt that BPCL is planning to invest around Rs 1.7 trillion over a period of five years in its core businesses of oil refining, fuel marketing, petrochemicals and clean energy. This includes capital expenditure of Rs 75,000 crore for refineries and petrochemical projects, Rs 8,000 crore for pipeline projects and over Rs 20,000 crore for marketing.

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