State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has offered to meet the entire fuel deficit in SAARC region by expanding some its existing refineries.
SAARC nations, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal are projected to have a fuel deficit of 17.05 million tons by 2015 and 20.85 million tons by the year 2020.
The Energy Research Institute (TERI), who was asked by SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu to suggest ways to meeting the demand, proposed setting up a regional 23 million tons capacity refinery.
IOC in its comments on the proposal said single location refinery would not be economically viable to meet all of the SAARC demand.
"In case, other countries accept long-term tie up with IOC for supply of petroleum products, IOC can suitably expand some of its existing refineries to meet their requirement on mutually agreed terms based on international prices," the company said.
IOC and its subsidiaries units have proximity to all the SAARC countries except Afghanistan.
The company said as the SAARC countries were spread out from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh in the North-East, Sri Lanka and Maldives in the south and Pakistan, Afghanistan on the north-west part of India, there would have to be two or three coastal refineries to minimise the logistic costs.
If coastal refineries are to be built, they should be of minimum economic size, IOC said. Besides cost, the proposed units would have an adverse impact on environment in terms of emissions of green house gases.