BPCL adds petrochemicals to Kochi refinery expansion

Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL), Mumbai, plans to diversify into petrochemicals production as part of the ongoing integrated expansion and upgrade of its Kochi refinery at Ambalmugal in the Indian state of Kerala.

BPCL’s board of directors has approved an increased capital expenditure of about 46 billion rupees, or $740 million, to diversify into the petrochemicals business at Kochi, the company said in a formal disclosure to BSE Ltd. (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange).

BPCL plans to use polymer-grade propylene that will be available upon completion of Kochi’s integrated refinery expansion project to produce niche petrochemicals such as acrylic acid, acrylates, and oxo alcohols that currently have to be imported into the country, according to the disclosure.

With funding for the proposed project now approved, the Kochi petrochemicals expansion, which tentatively is scheduled to be commissioned during financial year 2018-19, will be submitted for environmental clearances, BPCL said.

Designed to lift crude processing capacity to 15.5 million tonnes/year from 9.5 million tpy, the Kochi refinery integrated expansion project will include a new crude distillation unit, FCCUs, and a delayed coker to enable the production of fuels that meet Europe’s latest emissions standards (OGJ Online, Sept. 12, 2014; Nov. 19, 2013; July 16, 2012).

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