State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd and the Mukesh Ambani controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) have zeroed in on Nigeria for setting up a mega integrated petrochemical plant.
With gas as the feedstock, the two firms have planned an investment of $4 billion in setting up this plant, which will have a capacity of 1.5 to 2 million tonnes per annum (tpa). This is likely to be larger than Reliance's 1.5 million tpa petrochemicals production in India.
Discussions in this regard were held at a meeting on Tuesday evening between GAIL officials and Emmanuel O Egbogah, adviser to the President of Nigeria on petroleum matters. Nigerian authorities were also asked to allocate a gas field jointly to Reliance and GAIL for this polymer plant.
A senior GAIL official said that a special purpose vehicle would be set up with equal stakes from RIL and GAIL for this plant. “The project would involve production of feedstock and then converting it into value added products.”
When contacted a RIL official said, “We have an MoU with GAIL for jointly setting up a mega gas-based petrochemical plant in a gas rich country. Qatar and Nigeria have been on our radar.”
In addition to this project, GAIL along with IOC has also submitted a joint expression of interest for the development of Nigeria’s $20 billion Gas Master plan.
Top Russian gas companies, Gazprom, the consortium of Gazex and Suntera Consortium along with a Canadian company, Remington International Resources are other companies in the race for this billion-dollar master plan.
A formal bid for this project will be submitted once the Nigerian government shortlists the proposals submitted by various firms, said the GAIL official.