India’s Hindustan PetroleumCorp will operate its Mumbai refinery at an expanded capacity of 190,000 barrels per day (bpd) by mid-October, its Chairman M K Surana said recently, a slight delay from the previous estimate.
The company was previously hoping to operate the plant in western Maharashtra State at the expanded capacity in June or July.
HPCL shut the 150,000 bpd Mumbai refinery from April 1 for maintenance and capacity expansion.
It has started one crude unit post maintenance and the second unit, which is being revamped to add 40,000 bpd, is in pre-commissioning stage, Surana said at a press conference to announce June quarter earnings.
He said the upgraded unit would start operation from this month and runs would be gradually raised to 190,000 bpd in “two to two and a half months”.
State refiners are investing about $27 billion as India aims to raise refining capacity by a fifth to 298 million tonnes a year by 2025, junior Oil Minister Rameswar Teli told lawmakers earlier in the day.
India’s fuel demand is rising as States ease restrictions after a decline in Covid-19 infections. Surana said Indian gasoline demand could top pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.
However, he said gas oil consumption, which typically slows in monsoon season, would by the end of this year either reach pre-Covid levels or perhaps be a percent lower.
HPCL aims to restart the fire-hit 70,000 bpd crude unit at its 166,000 bpd Vizag refinery in southern India in 10 days, he said, adding the refinery would be expanded to 300,000 bpd by March 2022 and a residue upgradation facility would be completed in 2022.
He said HPCL was on track to build a 180,000 bpd refinery and petrochemical plant in the desert State of Rajasthan in 2024.
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