Kochi, Kerala – Planned expansions by Indian state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) for PEG, MEG and polyols have been thrown into doubt as privatisation looms over the future of the specialty petrochemicals plant.
The project has been put on hold until the Indian government finds a new buyer for the refinery as part of strategic disinvestment plan. It will be up to the buyer to decide the future of the project.
An initial investment of INR 111 bn ($1.4bn) was announced for the 170 acre (69ha) project. It was scheduled to start production by 2024, in the second phase of BPCL's petrochemical project at Kochi.
However, India's Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), which manages the government 53% stake in the company, has kicked off plans for privatisation. Initially, DIPAM invited expressions of interest by 31 July 2020, but the pandemic has delayed the process.
While the disposal was getting underway in the middle of last year, chemical engineering specialist Fluor was contracted to provide with the project management consultancy services.
The plan was to build six new process units, which would be integrated into the existing refinery. The units were set to produce propylene oxide, propylene glycol, polyols, ethylene oxide/mono-ethylene glycol, ethylene recovery unit and cumene.
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