BPCL to triple refinery capacity at Numaligarh

Vol 20, PW 4 (03 Nov 16) Midstream & Downstream

Here's a welcome bonanza for both EPC and pipeline laying contractors.

This report learns Bharat Petroleum subsidiary Numaligarh Refinery is gearing up to triple capacity at its 3m t/y refinery in Assam. A company source tells us the Rs20,000cr ($2.9bn) proposal was cleared by the oil ministry three weeks ago and is now waiting for approval by the Public Investment Board, which scrutinises all government infrastructure projects worth over Rs100cr ($15m).

Under the proposal Numaligarh capacity will be raised to 9m t/y within 48 months of investment approval. When completed the expanded refinery will have one Crude and one Vacuum Distillation Unit, one motor spirit unit, one sulphur recovery unit, one delayed coker unit and a catalytic cracking unit.

"We will be replicating our present refinery configuration, which is meant to refine low sulphur (sweet) crude and produce more middle distillates such as diesel," adds our company source. Also included in the proposal is a 28-inch diameter, 1398-km oil import pipeline from Paradip port in Orissa to Numaligarh with a 6m t/y capacity; and an 18-inch diameter, 650-km, petroleum products pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri in West Bengal.

These pipeline projects are vital if the refinery is to remain viable, explains our source. "We have no choice but to import crude to utilise the refinery to full capacity," he says.

"We also need to export products."