KOCHI: The Rs 16,500 crore Integrated Refinery Expansion Project of the BPCL-Kochi Refinery (BPCL- KR) is ready for formal inauguration. Construction of component units of the expansion project has been completed. Once fully operational, the capacity of the BPCL- KR will rise to 15.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 9.5 mtpa at present, making Kochi Refinery the largest public sector refinery in terms of capacity and complexity.
“IREP has transformed Kochi Refinery itself as a most modern industrial complex having global standards and the largest refinery in public sector in terms of capacity,” said Prasad KPanicker, executive director of BPCL-KR.
According to Panicker, IREP and the upcoming Rs 5,426 crore propylene derivatives petrochemical project will take the industrial sector in south India to new heights. The formal inauguration of the project is expected in two or three months, he said.
Pursuant to the mechanical completion of the process units, the commissioning of each unit was completed in a phased manner. Crude distillation unit, vacuum distillation unit, diesel hydro treating unit, vacuum gas oil hydro treating unit, sulphur recovery units and delayed coker unit are the major components of the project.
With the capacity expansion, BPCL- KR will be able to produce eco-friendly auto fuels complying Bharat Stage-VI, while Cochin Port can earn extra income by handling 7.8 mt products annually. The expansion project is also beneficial for the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Limited, which will be able to source the sulphur required for production of fertilizers locally.
BPCL- KR is also carrying out Rs 5,426 crore Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project, which is expected to be completed in 2018. “Propylene to be produced in the new units will turn out to be feedstock for the ongoing PDPP to produce acrylic acid, Acrylates and oxo-alcohols.
These niche petrochemicals are expected attract many downstream industries to the neighbouring areas of Kochi Refinery. The Kerala government is going ahead with its ambitious petrochemical complex in Ambalamugal. “This may well transform Ambalamugal as one of the leading petrochemical hubs,” Panicker said.
According to Panicker, completion of IREP within scheduled time was another achievement in Kerala, which has a bad reputation in the industrial sector.
“It may be noted that a mega project worth Rs 16,500 crore was completed without any hindrances. Stakeholders such as the state government and trade unions had a proactive attitude, which made the project a reality. A total of Rs 20,000 crore has been invested out of which IREP alone is Rs 16,500. Air Products has set up an Industrial gas complex of Rs 2,560 crore and BPCL expanded its capacity of storage with an investment nearly Rs 1,000 crore,” he added.