India's oil refining capacity will rise by more than 43% to 310 million tonne a year by March 2017 from current 216 million tonne, Oil Secretary GC Chaturvedi said today.
"India has leapfrogged from a modest 62 million tonne per annum refining capacity in 1998 to 193 million tonne at the beginning of the last fiscal [2011-12]," he said at a conference on 'Refining Challenges and Way Forward' here.
The refining capacity rose to 216 million tonne at the end of 2011-12 fiscal. "By March 2017, the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan period, it will exceed 310 million tonne per annum," he said.
The growth in refining capacity, which had made India a leading exporter of petroleum products since 2001-02, has been possible because of the de-licensing of petroleum refining by the government.
Chaturvedi said global refinery capacity additional planned up to 2017 is about 6.1 million barrels per day or about 305 million tonne per annum. "Half of this incremental capacity addition will be in the Asia Pacific region and around 12% will be West Asia."
"Developing economies like India with low per capita energy consumption are bound to need higher energy for growth. The entire Asia Pacific region, besides Africa will need tremendous amount of energy for growth and development," he said, adding that the diminishing availability of crude oil and its high prices were a matter of "deep concern".
With 17% of the world's population, India's share of world's total energy consumption is a little over 4%.
"Oil consumption in India is slated to grow by over 4% during the next 10-15 years as compared to the global oil demand of only about 0.8%," he said.
Last month, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd and Essar Oil completed expansion of their respective refineries. MRPL raised Mangalore refinery capacity to 15 million tonne per annum from 11.82 million tonne and Essar announced completion of its Vadinar refinery capacity expansion to 18 million tonne from 14 million tonne.
Also, HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd, a joint venture of state-owned Hindustan Petroleum and steel czar Lakshmi Mittal, commissioned $4 billion, 9 million tonne refinery at Bathinda in Punjab.
The commissioning of these refineries has raised total oil refining capacity in the country to 216.066 million tonne per annum from 198.886 million tonne a year.
State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) continues to be the largest refiner with 54.2 million tonnes of refining capacity.