Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) are still committed to investing in the planned USD 44 billion west coast refinery-cum-petrochemical project. At the Energy Intelligence Forum 2020, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said, “Both ADNOC and Saudi Aramco are still committed to the investments in the project.” IOC is the lead Indian partner for the project.
Saudi Aramco’s talks to buy a 20 per cent stake in Reliance Industries Ltd’s oil-to-chemical business for $ 15 billion, coupled with a crash in oil prices, slowing down of fuel demand, and land issues facing the west coast project had led to speculations of waning interest of the world’s largest oil exporter in the project.
State-owned IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) together with Saudi Aramco and ADNOC plan to set up a 60 million tonnes refinery-cum-petrochemical complex on Maharashtra coast.
Land acquisition has led to delay in the project, but once the issue is sorted out, the project is going to come up with investments from Aramco and ADNOC, he said. “We are certain and confident that the country needs this refinery to come up because of the growth the country is going to see in fuel demand in the future,” Vaidya added.
India currently has an oil refining capacity of about 250 million tonnes per annum (about 5 million barrels per day). Fuel demand is expected to double to 10 million bpd by 2050 and refining capacity would need to be augmented to meet that else the country would have to import petrol, diesel and ATF.
Aramco and ADNOC see themselves as principal oil suppliers to the west coast refinery. In fact, talks of Aramco picking up a 20 per cent stake in Reliance’s Oil-to-consumer (O2C) business were conditioned on it supplying 500,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).