Reliance will flood Europe and US with Euro-IV fuel

Vol 9, PW 24 (23 Mar 06) Midstream & Downstream

Reliance is forging ahead to establish Jamnagar in Gujarat as the petroleum products hub of India, particularly for the export of petrol and diesel.

On Monday (20th March) Reliance invited a group of local journalists from Ahmedabad to the site of its proposed new 27m t/y refinery at Jamnagar to hear a presentation on the new refinery from company officials. Hital Meswani, a senior Reliance director overseeing the project, was also present.

PETROWATCH has received a detailed account of the trip. Reliances new refinery will be built adjacent to the site of its existing 33m t/y refinery giving it a combined refining capacity of 60m t/y.

Its focus will primarily be on exports of high-grade Euro-IV diesel and petrol to Europe and the US. Reliance hopes to produce between 12m t/y and 13m t/y diesel from its new refinery and between 8m t/y and 10m t/y petrol.

Jet fuel will constitute between 1m t/y to 2m t/y of production, while petroleum coke will make up between 2m t/y and 3m t/y. Reliance will also produce between 2m t/y and 3m t/y of alkylate products.

Petrol and diesel from the new refinery will be the cleanest available on the market in line with a decision in Europe last year to switch to Euro-IV grades with low sulphur content of 10-ppm (parts per million). Euro IV allows a maximum 50-ppm in diesel, Euro-III allows 350-ppm and Euro-II allows 500-ppm.

Most European and Asian refineries are still only geared up to produce Euro-II and Euro-III grades, giving Reliance a clear advantage with its clean Euro-IV grade fuel for Europe and the US. Far behind, India and most of Asia is only now switching to Euro-II and Euro-III grades.

In India, the government has set 2010 as the deadline for the introduction of Euro-III across the country. Reliances strategy is simple: to continue supplying India and the rest of Asia with Euro-III from its existing refinery and begin supplying the US and Europe with Euro-IV from December 2008, when the new refinery comes on stream.