India’s oil refining capacity will rise by more than 43% to 310 million tonnes per year by March 2017 from current 216 million tonnes, oil secretary G C Chaturvedi said on Monday.
“India has leapfrogged from a modest 62 million tonnes per annum refining capacity in 1998 to 193 million tonnes at the beginning of the last fiscal (2011-12),” he said at a conference on ‘Refining Challenges and Way Forward’ here.
The refining capacity rose to 216 million tonnes at the end of 2011-12 fiscal. “By March 2017, the end of the 12th Five Year Plan period, it will exceed 310 million tonnes per annum,” he said.
The growth in refining capacity, which had made India a leading exporter of petroleum products since 2001-02, has been possible because of the de-licensing of petroleum refining by the government.
Chaturvedi said global refinery capacity additional planned up to 2017 is about 6.1 million barrels per day or about 305 million tonnes per annum. “Half of this incremental capacity addition will be in the Asia Pacific region and around 12% will be West Asia.”
“Developing economies like India with low per capita energy consumption are bound to need higher energy for growth,” he said, adding that the diminishing availability of crude oil and its high prices were a matter of “deep concern”.