India imports diesel to bridge Reliance deficit

Vol 8, PW 20 (12 Jan 05) News in Brief

India is importing diesel again after nearly four years of self-sufficiency.

In December Reliance announced to state-owned refiners that its hydrogen unit at Jamnagar is out of action and that diesel production would be hit in January, February and March this year. Reliance did not specify the nature of the problem but a source tells this report the unit will be out of action for six months.

Every month Indian Oil, Bharat and Hindustan Petroleum buy 400, 000 tonnes of diesel from Reliances refinery at Jamnagar. Reliance can supply only half this quantity till the problem is solved, reveals a source.

We have begun importing diesel to meet the deficit. Our source adds that petrol production at Jamnagar will be marginally hit but that production of LPG and kerosene is unaffected.

Disruption of the Jamnagar hydrogen unit means Reliance will miss Delhis 1st April deadline (for all refiners) to begin producing less polluting diesel.