By Ben DuBose
NEW DELHI -- Excess capacity of surplus naphtha and stranded
propylene from refineries is driving a resurgence in
Indias petrochemicals industry, the
director of refineries for Indian Oil said Wednesday.
Speaking at the
International Refining and Petrochemical Conference (IRPC),
R.K. Ghosh referred to more than 10 major petrochemical projects in his country with recent
announcements. Some have been finished, while others remain
For his company, Indian Oil, that includes new
700,000 tpy units for polyethylene and polypropylene, as well
as a 1.2 million tpy paraxylene plant.
The utilization of surplus naphtha and stranded
propylene from refineries, as well as other potential refinery molecules such as
n-paraffins and petroleum coke, are the key drivers of petrochemicals, Mr. Ghosh
When Indian Oil began to see margins squeezed in its fuels
business during the past decade, it responded by pursuing an integrated operating
At Panipat, arguably the company's flagship refinery, Indian Oil launched an
800,000 tpy naphtha cracker in March 2010. It is currently
India's largest operating cracker, with feedstock sourced internally from
Indian Oil's Gujarat, Panipat and Mathura refineries.
With refinery utilization rates in India above 100% over the past five
years, opportunities are abundant with stranded resources.
Theres so much you can do with the pooling of
stranded products, such as naphtha and PetCoke, Mr. Ghosh
explained. You can set up a scale resid upgrader, petrochemical units and even power
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