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With PM's blessings, Bina refinery now a reality
Posted: Friday, 20 May 2011 at 9:45 PM
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BHOPAL/BINA

The prestigious Rs 12,000 crore Bharat Oman Refinery Ltd (BORL) finally became an operational reality on Friday when it was dedicated to the nation by Prime minister Manmohan Singh. It is the state’s first refinery to meet the latest international emission standards, Euro IV. 

BORL, it may be recalled, is a joint venture between the Bharat Petroleum Company Ltd (BPCL) and the Oman Oil Company. 

A battery of leaders was in attendance at the inaugural. Among them were Central ministers Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jaipal Reddy, and Arun Yadav. Governor Rameshwar Thakur was also present on the dias.

Dr Singh (who co-incidentally had also laid the foundation stone of the project during his stint as Union finance minister in 1993) said the world class refinery would provide jobs to at least 5,000 people besides substantially boosting MP’s revenues. Development in the industry starved Bundelkhand region would thus get a much expected fillip.  

The PM said recurring dry spells in the Bundelkhand region had been a serious cause of concern. To mitigate the sufferance of locals a Bundelkhand package was released in 2009 in which stress was laid on soil and water conservation to boost agricultural and animal husbandry related activities. The package, however, would not bear fruit unless the Central and state governments worked in tandem.

The PM said BORL was the first grassroots refinery in this part of the country. To meet the requirements of a fast growing economy, the country would need adequate energy at reasonable cost. Since hydro carbons would continue to be a major energy source, sizable refining capacity was a must. Indigenous refining capacity, the PM informed, had risen from 620 lakh tonnes in 1998 to 1,870 lakh tonnes. Efforts were now being made to further augment this to 2,380 tonnes by 2012.  

BORL now has a 26 per cent equity interest by Oman Oil (up from two per cent till 2009), the MP government one per cent, the rest being held by the BPCL. The plant is being touted as an exemplar of India’s growing economic ties with the Sultanate of Oman.  


Dr Singh said India wasn’t just self-reliant in refined petroleum products but had also emerged as a major exporter. In 2010-11 India exported 560 lakh tonnes of petroleum products which earned it much foreign exchange. Efforts to discover new hydro carbon deposits were being intensified. The PM also stressed the need to apply the latest technologies in exploration and oil and gas production.    

Chief minister Shivraj S. Chouhan, who was also present, used the occasion to make a pitch for a special development package for Madhya Pradesh which the PM clean ignored in his speech.

Mr Chouhan sought to remind the BORL bosses to honour the terms of the original MoU in letter and spirit under which 60 per cent of the jobs were to be provided to locals. Failure to keep the commitment would disappoint locals. Should the company need skilled workers, training could be imparted. Efforts were being made by the state government to develop Bina as a model industrial area, and a Bhopal-Bina corridor was also in the pipeline, he informed.

The state government, he said, had kept its side of the bargain to make the refinery a reality. This included providing 2,300 acres of land plus a 15 year exemption from entry tax, stamp duty etc.

The 120,000 barrels per day capacity refinery can produce six million tonnes of petroleum products annually, especially diesel for the local market in addition to smaller quantities of jet fuel and gasoline. The complex was commissioned earlier this year.

Feedstock for the project, to be sourced from Bina, will be supplied by an overland pipeline that runs 935 kms from Gujarat’s Vadinar port. Crude oil will be supplied by a clutch of central Asian producers. BPCL recently announced plans to raise the refinery capacity from six to nine mmpta, and eventually 15 mmpta depending on the availability of basic resources like water.

The expansion is proposed to coincide with the plant’s first major turnaround in three years. To help fund the Phase 1 expansion, BPCL is planning an IPO with a 25 per cent equity share in BORL.

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