The mega refinery expansion plan of Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) will call for a capital expenditure to the tune of Rs 20,000 crore, said the company's managing director P Padmanabhan.
Faced with the dual challenge of sub-economic refining capacity and declining trend in domestic crude oil supplies from North Eastern oil fields, the company is actively pursuing to undertake capacity expansion of its refinery from present 3 Million Metric Tonne Per Annum (MMTPA) to 9 MMTPA. The capital expenditure for the refinery expansion project would be around six times the present net worth of NRL.
Padmanabhan, who was speaking at a vendors' meet, said the demand for products had already been studied for the enhanced product configuration. "While about 70 per cent products would be lifted by NRL's holding company, Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) to fulfill its existing demand for products; the region and its geographically contiguous neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar are being explored for selling the balance products," he said.
The company had already inked two important memorandums of understanding (MoU), one with Dhamra Port Company Limited (DPCL) for import of crude oil and LPG and the other with Cement Corporation of India (CCI) for utilisation of raw petroleum coke, likely to be generated at NRL after its proposed capacity expansion. The capacity expansion of the refinery is expected to address the challenges that NRL faces viz, sub-economic size of the refinery and inadequate availability of crude oil in North-East.
The capacity augmentation of NRL had been included in the 12th five year plan of Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas along with a proposed crude oil pipeline for transportation of imported crude from Dhamra port in Odisha to Numaligarh Refinery in order to meet the additional crude requirement consequent to refinery expansion. Detailed Feasibility Report for the proposed refinery expansion and the related crude oil pipeline are under preparation.
Earlier this year, NRL had signed an agreement with Nepal based Birat Petroleum Private Limited (BPPL) for sale of Motor Spirit (Petrol) and High Speed Diesel (Diesel) by NRL to BPPL in Nepal. NRL's foray into Nepal markets is a strategic move by the company to generate market for its products in view of proposed expansion of its refining capacity.
During the financial year 2013-14, NRL achieved a sales turnover of Rs 9,872 crore, recording a growth of 13 per cent ; while the net profit increased by 157 per cent to Rs 371 crore.