Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited has announced that it will complete the expansion of Visakh Refinery within 48 months. The board, which met on July 20, approved to fund Visakh Refinery Modernisation Project (VRMP) with an investment of Rs.20,928 crore – one among a few major investments in the State post-bifurcation. After the board meeting, the BSE was informed.
The scrip of the company also saw an impressive appreciation after the announcement. HPCL accounts for 25 per cent of market share among PSU companies and has a strong marketing network across the country.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests had already accorded clearance to the modernisation project. The capacity of the existing refinery will be expanded from 8.33 million tonne to 15 million tonne.
The plea for expansion of Visakh Refinery was rejected in 2013 by MoEF on the plea that a moratorium on investments in Greenfield and Brownfield projects was applicable to Visakhapatnam following identification of the industrial cluster as critically polluted. After removal of the tag on the basis of improvement in emission of pollutants, MoEF gave the go-ahead signal to HPCL.
At the public hearing held in June last, many expressed fears over pollution in the vicinity and urged the management to undertake fool-proof pollution control measures and earmark more funds under CSR, construction of a super-speciality hospital and modernisation of storm water drainage by granting Rs.60 crore.
In the proposed Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), which was originally proposed between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada and is now being considered to be relocated to Machilipatnam, HPCL has big plans for investment in a mega petrochemical complex.
Earlier, it had plans for a 15 million Greenfield refinery and a petrochemical complex at Atchutapuram by forming a consortium. It took decision to go ahead with petrochemical complex somewhere in Andhra Pradesh after a review meeting held by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan in the city last year.
Capacity of the existing refinery to be expanded from 8.33 million tonne to 15 million tonne