BPCL's Bina refinery finally comes on line
After years of delays, state run Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) has commissioned its 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bina refinery in central India, its chairman said on Monday, to help meet growing fuel demand in the country.
Indian refiners are expanding capacity as rapid economic growth boosts sales of cars and motorcycles and as rising affluence increases air travel.
"Last week we commissioned the crude unit and other units at the refinery. Only our hydrocracker is under commissioning, rest of the units are operating smoothly," RK Singh told Reuters. He said the hydrocracker would be fully commissioned and stabilised in next few days.
Bina refinery is operated by Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd, with a majority stake controlled by BPCL.
The plant will initially process Arab Mix crude. Earlier this month Singh had said that commercial output from the Bina plant would start by Feb 15. The new land locked plant will ease BPCL's current need to source products through imports or purchase them from other Indian refiners to top up its retail sales requirement to meet the growing fuel demand in Asia's third largest oil consumer.
Bina refinery started crude processing in mid 2010, but subsequently shut down as some secondary units were not ready.
India imports fuel to meet local demand, despite having surplus refining capacity, as private firms prefer to export refined products, saying they do not get compensation from the government to sell fuel at subsidised rates.
The last refinery commissioned in India was in end December 2008, when Reliance Industries began production at its 580,000 bpd refinery at Jamnagar in western India.
India's refining capacity would rise to 4.8 million bpd by March 2012 from the current 3.7 million bpd.
The Bina refinery has a one million tonne a year naphtha hydrotreater, half a million tonne continuous catalyst reformer, 1.95 million tonne hydrocracker, a 1.63 million tonne diesel hydrotreater and a 1.36 million tonne delayed coker. BPCL operates a 240,000 bpd refinery in Mumbai as well as a 190,000 bpd refinery in the southern state of Kerala, run by subsidiary Kochi Refineries Ltd. It also owns a majority stake in a 60,000 bpd refinery in northeast India.