Vedanta Resources, the Anil Agarwal-controlled mining and metals conglomerate, is keen on a “small” stake in the Rs 20,000-crore oil refinery project in Barmer in Rajasthan.
The state government revealed this on Saturday even as chief minister Ashok Gehlot led a fresh round of lobbying with the Centre to kick-start work on the project conceived eight years ago.NRI billionaire and Vedanta Group chairman Agarwal met Gehlot in New Delhi on Friday, assuring that Vedanta would support the refinery "by having a small stake in the project", a state government press statement said.
HT, however, could not reach the group spokesperson for comments.
In December, Vedanta Resources completed its $8.67-billion acquisition of Cairn India that is producing 1.75 lakh barrels a day from the desert district of Barmer.
Having a stake in a refinery — projected to pump out nine million tonne petroleum products a year — is seen as a logical step for the company.
In the Barmer refinery project, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Engineers India Ltd (EIL) are likely to take stakes.
While the exact holding pattern is being finalised, an official said HPCL may pick up 51%, ONGC 26% and EIL 5%.
The balance 18% will be held by the state government and, possibly, Vedanta Resources.
A state government official said the state government had already started the process of acquiring about 926 hectares for the project.
Gehlot, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram and planning commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Friday, has “apprised” Congress president Sonia Gandhi about the need for a refinery in Rajasthan.