Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said oil imports should be reduced by 10% by 2022, when the India will celebrate 75 years of Independence. Modi was speaking at the inauguration of Indian Oil’s Rs 35,000- crore refinery in Paradip, Odisha.
“When in 2022 we celebrate 75 years of Indian independence, import of oil should be reduced by 10%,” he said, adding the Petroleum Ministry and oil companies will take this challenge to make India self sufficient in energy.
India spent $112.7 billion (almost Rs 7 lakh crore) on import of 189.4 million tonnes of crude oil in 2014-15. Oil imports account for over a quarter of India’s total import bill.
Modi said most of India’s oil import comes from the Gulf countries and the aim was to add oil from ‘jhadi’ (bio-fuel) to fuel from ‘khari’ (Gulf countries). “Khari ka tel aur jhadi ka tel milana hai (We have to mix oil from Gulf with oil from shrubs). These will not only cut oil imports but also protect environment,” he said.
The refinery, which has helped the state-owned firm overtake Reliance Industries to again become country’s top refiner, has a capacity of 15 million tonnes and is touted to be the most modern refineries in the world that can process cheaper high-sulphur content crude oils. Prior to Paradip, IOC’s eight refineries had a cumulative capacity of 54.2 million tonnes of crude oil.
“The refinery will produce 5.6 million tonnes per annum of diesel, 3.79 million tonnes of petrol and 1.96 million tonnes of kerosene/ATF. Besides, 790,000 tonnes of LPG and 1.21 million tonnes of petcoke would also be produced,” Indian Oil officials said.
Modi said Paradip refinery will change the fortune of Odisha as it will create lakhs of jobs. “You can imagine how much these products will give momentum to economic development,” he said.
“LPG from the refinery will replace firewood in rural households. One hour of cooking on firewood subject rural women to smoke equivalent to 400 cigarettes. We are trying that the poor get LPG gas cylinders to give them freedom from smoke,” he added.
Paradip refinery, he said, has added to the ‘Make-in-India’ glory as Indian OIl’s indigenously developed INDMAX has maximised LPG yield to 44% , the highest in the world.
The refinery’s foundation stone was laid in May 2000 by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.