OPaL in crisis and needs cash

Vol 17, PW 8 (14 Nov 13) News in Brief

ONGC, GAIL and GSPC have spent around Rs16,000cr ($2.5bn) so far on the ONGC Petro Additions (OPaL) petrochemical complex at Dahej, but work risks stalling unless they put in more cash.

"OPAL is facing a cash crunch,” says a source close to the company. “Its payments to contractors have become irregular since July.

” OPaL will struggle to raise debt from banks until the three promoters show their seriousness by increasing their equity stakes. But instead of increasing their stakes, GAIL last August reduced its stake from 19% to 15.5% and GSPC slashed its stake from 5% to 0.5%.

ONGC still holds 26%. OPaL’s Rs23,000cr ($3.6bn) petrochemical complex is coming up on 503-hectares of land 45-km from Petronet-LNG’s Dahej LNG terminal.

Contractors working on the project, due for commissioning by mid-2014, include Samsung, Linde, Hyderabad-based IVRCL, state-owned BHEL, Hindustan Dorr-Oliver, Honeywell Automation and KTN-IOT.

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