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Petro products emerge as top exporter

Petroleum products emerge as the top merchandise exporter of the country ahead of gems and jewellery, reports Deepak Joshi.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2006 18:58 IST

The petroleum products exports touched Rs 38,300 crore ($8.3 billion) in April-August this year, thereby emerging as the top merchandise exporter of the country ahead of gems and jewellery. Due to additional production in 2005-06, the country was able to export petroleum products worth Rs 51,000 crore ($ 11.5 billion); Petroleum Minister Murli Deora told the parliamentary consultative committee attached to the ministry.

The minister emphasised that exports of oil products not only provides value addition, which could be in the range of 17 to 36% depending on prices, but also help reduce the burden of oil prices on the economy. "Higher refining capacity enhances energy security by providing greater flexibility and option to process crude or import products" he added.

In a presentation on the refining sector, members were informed that the country would maintain surplus refining capacity to take advantage of the export potential. The demand for petroleum products is likely to increase to 116 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) in 2007-08 from about 111.9 MMTPA in 2005-06 and reach 132 MMTPA in 2011-12 against the refining capacity of about 241 MMTPA. The exports are likely to reach 93 MMTPA in 2011-12 from about 31 MMTPA in 2007-08. A total of about 21.5 MMTPA oil products were exported in 2005-06.

Deora said a refining capacity addition of about 16.5 million tonnes has taken place in the country during the first 8 months of the current fiscal year. This addition has come in from 6 million tones capacity expansion at IOC's Panipat refinery and 10.5 million tonnes new grass root refinery commissioned in the private sector by ESSAR Oil at Vadinar. 

With this, the total petroleum products refinery capacity in the country has reached 148.97 MMTPA up from 132.97 MMTPA as on April 1, 2006. Indian Oil's Panipat refinery expansion project adding 6 MMTPA capacity along with PX-PTA project was commissioned in August this year and is presently under stabilisation. The project has been set up at a cost of about Rs 9,100 crore and comprises India's largest integrated single unit petrochemical complex.

Email Deepak Joshi: djoshi@hindustantimes.com