Image courtesy Numaligarh Refinery Ltd
In order to complete its five key ongoing projects, including the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL), Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) plans to invest Rs. 35,000 crore over the next five years.
By David Sear
Numaligarh Refinery aims to execute their major ongoing initiatives, namely, the Numaligarh Refinery expansion, the Paradip Numaligarh crude oil pipeline and crude oil import terminal at Paradip, the 2G ethanol project and the IBFPL pipeline. “In the next five years, we have planned to invest more than Rs. 35,000 crore in completing these projects,” stated Chairman cum Managing Director Ranjit Rath, after the annual general meeting of the company mid-September. According to Rath, the projects will support the long-term corporate growth, and finishing the operations without going over budget remains the company’s major priority as of now.
The 130 km long and 1 MMTPA capacity India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFPL) is being built by NRL from Siliguri in West Bengal to Parbatipur in Bangladesh. The cost has been put at Rs. 377 crores. Out of the aforementioned, NRL would invest Rs. 92 crores in the pipeline project for the India segment. The Indian government will provide a grant-in-aid for the remaining Rs. 285 crores of the Bangladesh part. By July 2023, the project is expected to be finished. Overall physical progress as of July 31st, 2022, was 93.1%.
The capacity of NRL is being increased significantly from its current 3.0 MMTPA to 9.0 MMTPA. 28,026 crores of rupees are the project’s approved cost. Additionally, the Indian government has authorized a capital subsidy for the project in the sum of Rs. 1,020 crores.
This is one of the largest investments made in the Northeast Indian oil and gas industry. The NRL refinery extension, expected to be finished by July 2024, will boost capacity for processing crude oil.
The expansion project has been divided into two components: first, the refinery expansion in Numaligarh and secondly, a 1630-kilometer crude oil pipeline connecting Paradip, Odisha, with Numaligarh, where crude oil will be imported.
NRL is putting its first petrochemical project into action by building a 360 KTPA polypropylene unit (PPU) at a budgeted cost of Rs. 6,555 crores. In March 2022, the project’s investment permission was granted, and a licensor for the process unit has been chosen. It is estimated that the project will be finished in FY 2025–2026.
The Assam Bio-refinery Private Limited (ABRPL), a joint venture company created by NRL and two other international investors, is building a second-generation bio-refinery at Numaligarh, Assam, to produce ethanol from non-food quality feed stock bamboo.
The facility will be able to process 300 TMTPA of bamboo on a dry basis and will be able to generate 49 TMTPA of ethanol, together with the necessary chemicals and power.
The project’s approved price tag is Rs. 3,250 crores. The Central Government has approved Rs 150 crore for the project under viability gap funding. Expected completion is December 2022.
Northeast gas grid
To supply PNG and CNG in the Northeastern region, a gas grid connecting all state capitals is being built. NE Gas Grid and the National Gas Grid will be connected by a trunk gas pipeline that runs from Barauni to Guwahati.
“Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited” is a joint venture company that was established with equal equity contributions from IOCL, GAIL, ONGC, OIL, and NRL. Since the NRL refinery expansion accounts for over 50% of the pipeline grid’s overall flow, it has been regarded as an anchor customer.
The project was approved for implementation by the Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) of the Government of India in January 2020 at a cost of Rs. 9,265 crores, of which Rs. 5559 crore or 60% was provided as Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
As part of the project, a total of 1,656 kilometers of gas pipeline will be installed. The project is anticipated to be finished around March 2024. Physical progress overall was 52.61% as of August 31, 2022.
In accordance with the stipulations of the historic Assam Accord, which was signed on August 15, 1985, Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) was incorporated as a company on April 22, 1993.
On July 9, 1999, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a former Indian prime minister, dedicated the 3 MMTPA refinery to the country. Since the start of commercial production in October 2000, NRL has been able to exhibit a credible performance. It is regarded as “one of the shining examples of a prosperous business enterprise”, with its footprints across the globe where its products continue to be exported.
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