West Bengal-based Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) has pledged to invest Rs 8,000 crore more on a naphtha cracker unit and polypropylene (PP) facility in Odisha.
The fresh investments are over and above the Rs 70,000 crore the company had announced at the second edition of the biennial ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave in November 2018 where HPL earned the tag of the biggest investor.
The new investments by HPL add up to a total investment package of Rs 78,000 crore, said a state government official privy to the development. The High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA) chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has already cleared Rs 70,000-crore investment plan by HPL. The latest projects proposed by the company are expected to be approved at the next meeting of HLCA.
More importantly, HPL’s latest proposals will see it competing directly with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). Naphtha cracker units of HPL and IOC promise to attract a large number of polymer units into Odisha. Odisha's plastic units were heavily dependent on imported material in the absence of a naphtha cracker facility in the state.
While IOC has already commissioned its PP complex at an investment of over Rs 3,000 crore, it has decided to set up a naphtha cracker unit in its second phase ramp-up around the site of its 15 million tonne grassroots crude oil refinery at Paradip.
IOC's naphtha cracker unit is a part of the myriad components of its planned petrochemical complex. IOC has submitted a fresh plan to the Odisha government to invest Rs 1 trillion more to put different petrochemical units on-stream and for scaling up capacity of the coastal oil refinery to 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). IOC has asked for 4000 acres of land, preferably adjacent to the site of its refinery. While the state government, through its agency - Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) - has 800 acres in its possession, the remainder needs to be acquired predominantly from private landowners.
As fas as HPL’s projects are concerned, land has been identified in the vicinity of the upcoming Subarnarekha port, a commercial port being built by Tata Steel. HPL is setting up an integrated refinery with units for the production of paraxylene and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in the first phase. While the production capacity of the paraxylene unit will be 1.6 mtpa, the PTA unit will have a production capacity of 2.5 mtpa. The first phase of the HPL project, which has already been approved, is expected to be operationalised within five years after the allotment of land. HPL has committed an investment of Rs 28,700 crore ($4.05 billion) in the first phase on its Odisha project.
The land requirement for the project is pegged at 2000 acres. Land for the mega project will be recommended for allotment post assessment by the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol).
HPL runs a naphtha based petrochemical complex at Haldia, some 125 km from Kolkata. Considered the symbol of industrial resurgence in West Bengal, HPL has played a catalytic role in developing more than 500 downstream processing industries in that state with a combined capacity to process over 350,000 tonnes of polymers and generating employment opportunities for around 150,000 people.