Indian Oil to invest Rs 1 lakh crore to boost refining capacity

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) will invest nearly Rs 1 lakh crore to raise its refining capacity by almost a third in the next 4-5 years. IOC is also focusing on optimally integrating its current refining processes to yield more chemical products per barrel of oil, chairman SM Vaidya said. “This will intensify petrochemical and lubricant integration, leading to a diversified product portfolio and attain profit maximisation,” Vaidya added.

In June this year, IOCL’s board had sanctioned the initial approval for setting up India’s first-ever “Styrene Monomer Project” at an estimated cost of Rs 4,495 crore. The project, with a capacity of 387,000 tonnes per annum, will be located in the company’s Panipat refinery and petrochemical complex, and will utilise the ethylene to be produced in the refinery’s upcoming INDMAX Unit. The INDMAX unit is being built under the refinery’s Rs 32,946-crore expansion programme.

Exploring alternative energy options, IOC is working on solutions around compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas, hydrogen-CNG, biofuels, hydrogen and e-mobility, Vaidya said, addressing the company’s 62nd annual general meeting. “Our focus will be on green energy to power new projects and refinery expansions,” he added.

The company recently said it will build the nation’s first ‘green hydrogen’ plant at its Mathura refinery. Solar and wind plants can produce green hydrogen with the help of electrolysers, and the company intends to wheel electricity from its wind power project in Rajasthan to generate hydrogen in Mathura refinery.

To leverage the abundant aluminium reserves in the country for the electric mobility sector, Indian Oil and Israeli company Phinergy have formed a JV to commercialise aluminium-air battery technology for Indian original equipment manufacturers. The company has already announced its intention of expanding the business scope of its existing joint venture with Malaysia’s state-run oil and gas firm Petronas to include LNG terminals, CNG stations, CGD projects, CBG business and retailing of transportation fuels.

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