Aramco inks pact for mega refinery

Apr 12, 2018, 06:29
Aramco inks pact for mega refinery

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has signed a pact with a consortium of Indian oil companies to jointly develop and build a mega integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), in Maharashtra.

The refinery at Ratnagiri on the west coast will be able to process up to 1.2 million barrels of crude a day, the Saudi company said after signing a memorandum of understanding with Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation.

Days earlier, state oil giant Aramco sealed refining and petrochemicals deals worth about $20 billion in France and the United States.

Engineering and design work will begin late this year and when complete the plant will produce more than 2.7 million metric tons of high-value chemicals, a press release put out by Total said.

Saudi Aramco will supply at least 50 percent of the crude to be processed at the planned refinery, he said.

But there is no full stop yet in India for Saudi Aramco as it is "very much interested" in entering the fuel retailing business here and scout for other investment opportunities.

Aramco is also in talks with China National Petroleum Corp.to build a 260,000 barrel-a-day refinery in the Asian nation, Nasser, the CEO, said. When the government announced plans to sell about 5 percent of Aramco to raise over $100 billion, an IPO was expected by the end of this year, with possible listing list on foreign markets including New York, London and Hong Kong.

"Geographical information systems allow us to further enhance our upstream operations, safety procedures, project management, our detection and monitoring capabilities, and the preservation of our wide-ranging assets", he said.

"In addition to the refinery, cracker and downstream petrochemicals facilities, the project will also include the development of associated facilities such as a logistics, crude oil and product storage terminals, raw water supply project as well as centralised and shared utilities", it added.

As per the MoU, the project will be a 50:50 joint partnership venture between Aramco and a consortium of Indian oil companies, including the IOC, BPCL and HPCL. "We are managing the global block", he said.

India has a refining capacity of 232.066 million tonnes, which exceeded the demand of 194.2 million tonnes in 2016-17 fiscal.

Representatives of Aramco held a marathon meeting with their counterparts from Indian companies on Tuesday. Iraq displaced Saudi Arabia for the first time on an annual basis in 2017, data compiled by Reuters showed.

Nasser said he was not anxious by rising supplies from regional rivals to India.

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