Indian Oil Corp, nation's largest oil firm, plans to invest about Rs 15,000 crore in raising capacity at its Panipat refinery in Haryana by 34 per cent to 20.2 million tonnes (MT) by 2020.
"We are doing preliminary studies for expanding Panipat refinery capacity," a senior company official said. "The expansion will take at least five years and investment may be of the order of Rs 15,000 crore. We will get a firm fix on the numbers once studies are completed."
IOC owns and operates eight refineries and has only a few weeks back added ninth refinery at Paradip in Odisha. Its eight refineries have a cumulative refining capacity of 54.2 MT of crude oil and addition of 15 MT at Paradip refinery has helped it regain the top refiner slot in the country.
It overtook Reliance Industries, which has twin refineries at Jamnagar in Gujarat with a capacity of 62 MT.
Essar Oil is the only other private refiner having a 20 MT a year unit at Vadinar in Gujarat.
The official said IOC is also looking at raising capacity of its 13.7 MT a year Koyali refinery in Gujarat by 4.3 MT as well as hiking capacity of Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh by three MT to 11 MT.
A small capacity addition of 0.5 MT is also planned at 7.5 MT Haldia refinery in West Bengal.
Panipat Refinery was commissioned in 1998 with a capacity of six MT per annum. The refining capacity was doubled to 12 MT in 2006 and then raised by a further three MT to 15 MT in 2010.
The new expansion planned will cater to fuel needs of north and western India. "We are working on raising fuel quality specifications to meet Euro-IV and V standards at our refineries and so the Panipat expansion too is being reconfigured to meet the new specifications," he said.
Panipat refinery processes a wide range of both indigenous and imported grades of crude oil. It receives crude from Vadinar through the 1370-km long Salaya-Mathura Pipeline which also supplies crude to Koyali and Mathura refineries of IOC.
Petroleum products are transported through various modes like rail, road as well as pipelines. The refinery caters to the high-consumption demand centres in North-Western India including the States of Haryana, Punjab, J&K, Himachal, Chandigarh, Uttaranchal, as well as parts of Rajasthan and Delhi.