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The demand for crude oil refining capacity in India is expected to increase to 533 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) by 2040 to meet the domestic demand. The projected figure is more than double the existing refining capacity of 247.6 mtpa. Including 25 per cent exports, the Indian refining capacity outlook is projected to be 554 million tonnes by 2035 and 667 million tonnes by 2040. The current refining capacity of 247.6 mtpa in India is projected to increase to 259 mtpa by 2020 and further to about 439 mtpa by 2030 as against the POL (petroleum products) demand in the trend scenario of 220 million tonnes, 271 million tonnes and 335 million tonnes respectively. According to the report of ‘Working Group on Enhancing Refining Capacity by 2040’, the plans submitted by refining companies, the majority of the capacity addition will be commissioned by 2025. This includes implementation of the grassroots refineries at Rajasthan (nine mtpa) and west coast (60 mtpa).
The report was unveiled on Saturday by Dharmendra Pradhan, minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, at the 22nd Refinery Technology & Petrochemicals Meet (RPTM), jointly organised by Centre for High Technology (CHT) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.“With the implementation of the projected increase in domestic capacity, India will not only be self-sufficient in meeting domestic fuel demand but will also be in a position to continue catering to the potential export countries”, added the report. In total, India has 23 refineries, 18 in the public sector, two in the joint sector and three in the private sector. “By 2040, to meet the domestic demand, we will need 533 million tonnes refining capacity. If we want to retain the 25 per cent export then the refining capacity needs to be 667 million tonnes”, said Sandeep Poundrik, joint secretary (refineries) at the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas at the meet. Future refinery configuration needs to be flexible to meet growing demand for petrochemicals and allow diversification into other businesses to take care of any disruption, he added. He said that future refinery expansion plan may be reviewed periodically taking into account development in alternatives. Stating that energy consumption growth rate in India is expected to be a staggering 129 per cent from 2015 to 2035, Poundrik said that India is likely to consume about 10 per cent of the world energy by 2035. Speaking on the occasion, Pradhan called upon the public and private sector oil and gas companies in the country to add at least 200 million tonnes of refining capacity in the next two decades in order to maintain India’s leadership position as the hub of Asian refining and product export. He said that it is expected that $300 billion spending will be made in the hydrocarbon sector. Integrated refinery – petrochemical complexes should be the future for deriving maximum benefits for the industry, he added.