Refining capacity to double to 500 mt by 2030, says Dharmendra Pradhan

India aims to double its refining capacity to 450-500 million tonnes (mt) in the next 10 years, said Union petroleum and steel minister on Tuesday.

The country has already planned the world’s largest refinery in the western coast, on which work will start soon, said Pradhan. The $44-billion west coast refinery project, with capacity of 60 mt, was announced in June 2018.

Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) hold 50 per cent in the project, while Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation hold the rest. There were concerns owing to land acquisition issues in Maharashtra.

“Our refining capacity will increase to 450-500 mt in the next 10 years. This will include both brownfield and greenfield projects,” said Pradhan, while addressing a webinar on the steel sector. Addition of capacity will create additional demand, he said.

According to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), India has refining capacity of 250 mt. Domestic consumption of petroleum products stood at 213.7 mt during FY20.

As regards the oil and gas sector, the minister said India had seen tremendous transformation in six years, on the back of pro-investment policies. “The oil and gas sector is among the largest end-users of steel pipes and tubes, with pipeline being the major mode of transport for petroleum, oil, and lubricant products.”

Pradhan expects expansion in the city gas distribution (that will cover 70 per cent of population), refining capacity augmentation, plan to set up 10,000 CNG stations, and a rise in exploration and production activities to drive steel demand.

Pradhan, however, said the oil and gas sector should ensure cost-competitiveness. Domestic players should rise to the occasion so that costs do not escalate in an effort to promote localisation of supply chain.

Jayant Acharya, director (commercial and marketing) at JSW Steel, said India had the necessary steel-making and pipe-making capabilities. T V Narendran, MD and CEO of Tata Steel, said it was in the interest of all to develop a spirit of partnership and collaboration.