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Kuwait offered stake in projects

business Updated: Mar 31, 2010 22:39 IST
Anupama Airy

India has offered oil rich Kuwait stake in two of its mega petrochemical plants being built on the west and east coasts of the country. These are the Rs 12,440-crore Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) project at Dahej in Gujarat and the proposed unit of Indian Oil Corp at Paradip in Orissa.

Kuwati Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora discussed the matter on the sidelines of the 12th International Energy Forum at Cancun.

ONGC is keen on an overseas major that can either bring technology or marketing support for its Dahej plant that would be set up by 2012.

ONGC holds 26 per cent stake in ONGC Petro-additions Ltd, the special purpose vehicle formed for setting up the chemical complex at the Dahej Special Economic Zone.

The Gujarat State Petroleum Corp has a 5 per cent stake in the project, while GAIL India has 19 per cent. Any foreign firm stepping in may be given 20 to 25 per cent.

Kuwait had been offered such deals by India earlier also, but Kuwait Petroleum Corp had rejected the offers for stakes in Indian refinery projects as it wanted auto fuel distribution rights, a proposition not possible considering only state-owned firms qualify for the government subsidies.

Kuwait supplies 10 per cent of India’s crude needs and New Delhi also expressed its interest in setting up a fertiliser plant in the Gulf nation if it was allocated natural gas for the plant.

“Kuwait mentioned that it was short in gas and all of the gas that it produced was being used for domestic industries,” said Sunil Jain, joint secretary in the petroleum ministry.