3,200 cr R&D centre to support refinery conversions

Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) will set up a new research and development (R&D) centre at an outlay of Rs 3,200 crore in Faridabad in Haryana, a senior official said.
The official also said that the oil major is focusing on converting its refineries into integrated complexes where differentiated petrochemicals are made while going ahead with the development of alternative fuels.
Speaking to reporters here, S.S.V. Ramakumar, Director, R&D, and Business Development, IOC, said the company will invest Rs 3,200 crore to set up the new R&D centre. He said the new centre will be ready by 2023. It will have five centres of excellence and the total R&D headcount will double to 1,000.
According to Ramakumar, the proposed centre will research areas like alternative and renewable energy, nanotechnology, etc. Spending about Rs 500 crore annually on R&D, IOC has monetised its research outcome.
One such technology is INDMAX, a novel technology that produces a high yield of light olefins and high octane gasoline from various petroleum fractions. The technology has been licensed to a Russian oil company.
Ramakumar said that discussions with six more refineries in the Asia Pacific region are on for licensing of the technology.
The R&D investments over the last decade have resulted in a notional income of Rs 5,000 crore (savings in expenditure and others) for IOC, he said. With regard to asset monetisation plans of IOC, he said the company may hive off some of its hydrogen plants.
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