The Ministry of Environment & Forests has granted clearance to the integrated refinery expansion project (IREP) of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited at Kochi refinery.
The project envisages increasing the capacity of the refinery by 6 million tonnes (mt) per annum to 15.5 mt from the present 9.5 mt. The estimated cost is Rs 14,225 crore and it is scheduled to be completed by December 2015.
The company also plans to modernise the refinery to produce auto-fuels complying with Euro-IV and V specifications, upgrade low value refinery residue stream to value-added products and produce propylene, a major petrochemical feedstock.
BPCL plans to utilise propylene to make petrochemical products like acrylates and super absorbent polymer that are predominantly imported into the country. For this, it is setting up a petro-chemical complex at the refinery in a joint venture with
LG Chem of South Korea, where the latter will bring its technology and marketing expertise.
The complex is expected to be commissioned along with the IPE project and involve an investment of Rs 5,000-6,000 crore.
The state government, which signed a memorandum of understanding with BPCL during the Emerging Kerala Investors Meet in September for this, had agreed to extend various incentives like deferment of Kerala General Sales Tax/VAT and Central Sales Tax and exemption of works contract tax for the project.
The plant would also produce about 1.3 mt per annum petcoke. This also envisages the possibility of setting up a petcoke-based power plant, according to a release.
State public sector undertakings like Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited and Travancore Cements could use the petcoke produced from this project.
The investment totalling about Rs 20,000 crore for both the projects is the single largest investment in Kerala.