Aramco interest in ONGC aromatics complex

Vol 17, PW 6 (17 Oct 13) Midstream & Downstream

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, wants to buy a stake in an ONGC 'aromatics' complex under construction in Mangalore.

PETROWATCH learns Saudi Aramco is one of several companies hoping to buy a 26% stake at the aromatics plant, which will produce 900,000 t/y of paraxylene and 270,000 t/y of benzene. ONGC holds 46% in ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals (OMPL) a company set up to construct the $1bn plant.

Refining subsidiary MRPL holds 3%. "We have kept a 26% stake for a strategic partner," says OMPL.

"The remaining 25% equity has been set aside for an IPO (stock market launch)." In July ONGC appointed ICICI Securities and Deloitte to find a strategic partner.

"We want at least Rs500cr ($82m) for the 26% stake," adds OMPL. Industry sources add ONGC and MRPL have initiated "serious" discussions with Saudi Aramco.

"I can't tell you the names of all the companies who have shown interest," adds OMPL. "But there is competition.

" OMPL is aiming to commission the aromatics complex in January 2014. "The plant will be ramped up to full capacity two to three months after commissioning," we hear.

Paraxylene will initially be exported for the textile industry to produce polyester fabric. OMPL will buy 1.5m t/y of naphtha from MRPL's nearby 15m t/y refinery to feed the facility.

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