Barmer refinery rises from the grave

Vol 16, PW 7 (18 Oct 12) News in Brief

One ghost is certainly coming back from the dead this Halloween (October 31): Engineers India (EIL) is expected to submit a pre-feasibility report to Hindustan Petroleum by the end of this month to resurrect the 9m t/y crude oil refinery project at Barmer in Rajasthan.

How on earth has this long-dead project suddenly popped up again It seems Cairn India-owner and Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal has promised to take a minority stake. Agarwal knows it’s important to cosy up to Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, for whom the Barmer refinery would be a wish come true.

EIL will feed Gehlot his Halloween ‘treat’ by estimating the refinery’s costs and potential return on investment, in addition to defining technology and processes needed. EIL was asked to prepare the pre-feasibility report by oil secretary Girish Chaturvedi on May 29.

HPCL, Vedanta, EIL and ONGC are expected to share the proposed refinery with the Rajasthan government, should it materialise.