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India Chennai Petro Puts New Refinery Plan on Hold

Source: Reuters 4/16/2010, Location: Asia

India's Chennai Petroleum Corp has put on hold its plans to build a new 300,000-barrels-per-day refinery at Ennore in southern India as it had not received environmental clearance from the government.

"We wanted to put up (the refinery) at Ennore, but there are environmental issues, so the government has an alternative site at Cuddalore," N.C. Sridharan, director of finance, told reporters.

He, however, said Chennai Petroleum will go ahead with the planned expansion of its existing 210,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery at Manali in southern India.

By the end of this year, it will raise the capacity of a 76,000 bpd crude unit at Manali by 12,000 bpd for an investment of 4 billion rupees ($90.18 million), he said.

Chennai Petroleum has planned a capex of around 15 billion rupees for the current fiscal compared with 10 billion rupees last year, he added.

The company also plans to raise capacity of its bigger 120,000 bpd crude unit at Manali to 180,000 bpd by 2014/15. "This will require an investment of 90 billion to 100 billion rupees," he said.

He also said the Manali refinery currently processes 70 percent sour crude and the firm has plans to gradually raise the percentage of sour crude to 85 percent by 2013/14. ($1=44.4 Indian rupees)

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