By PRASENJIT BHATTACHARYA
NEW DELHI -- State-run fuel retailer and refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (HPCL) is planning major investments in India's oil and gas sector.
The company's board has approved an investment of 370 billion rupees ($6.7 billion) to set up a 9-million tpy refinery and petrochemical complex in the northwest town of Barmer, the company said in a statement Friday.
HPCL's board sought approval from the government of India to build the plant, which will be located in Rajasthan. The refinery will make use of crude from Rajasthan, HPCL said.
India's demand for hydrocarbons is growing at a rapid pace, driven by industrialization and a fast-growing automobiles market.
The company is also considering setting up a specialized port for handling imported liquefied natural gas.
India's natural gas production hasn't kept pace with demand in industries such as power generation, fertilizers and steel-making, resulting in increasing gas imports.
"We are looking at setting up an LNG terminal. But the proposal is still at a very nascent stage," Bhaswar Mukherjee, director (finance) of HPCL, told The Wall Street Journal.
He said the company's board will consider the proposal, before any decision is made on location of the port or investments required.
India's Hindustan Times on Thursday reported sources that HPCL will enter into an equal joint venture with infrastructure development firm, Shapoorji Pallonji group, to set up a LNG terminal in the coastal state of Gujarat, at an estimated investment of 50 billion rupees.
Dow Jones Newswires