'West coast refinery will happen!' Sanjiv Singh

Vol 20, PW 20 (29 Jun 17) Midstream & Downstream

IndianOil's newly appointed chairman Sanjiv Singh is supremely confident the proposed 60m t/y west coast mega refinery project will happen.

Singh, who took charge on June 1, spoke exclusively to this report after IndianOil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum signed a MoU at the Taj Mahal luxury hotel in Delhi on June 14 to build the world's largest 'greenfield' refinery with 50 units and an integrated petrochemicals facility. "Already we have applied for environmental clearance," said Singh.

In a letter on June 1, IndianOil designated company executive Sanjeev Verma as the JV's official go-between with the environment ministry. Singh added that Engineers India will submit a pre-feasibility report within two months followed by a DFR.

Next, IOC will begin identifying technology providers. Singh also confirms land acquisition is underway for 15,000 acres needed at Babulwadi village in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.

"The state government has appointed a nodal officer to coordinate land acquisition," adds Singh. "Water has also been arranged." IOC is leading the project with 50% while BPCL and HPCL each hold 25% - for now.

Singh confirms the oil ministry has asked promoters to consider a 'strategic partner' but declines to confirm if this would be Saudi Aramco. "It's too early to say," adds Singh.

"Whoever it is will get a guaranteed buyer for crude." At the June 14 event oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan again mentioned Saudi Aramco as the potential future partner.