Jan 12, 2000|
Reliance’s refinery commissioning completed
Reliance Petroleum (RPL) has announced the completion of its 27 million tonne (540,000 barrels/day) refinery.
This signals the growing role of the private sector in the refining scenario. With almost 35 million tonnes (the capacity of RPL and Mangalore Refineries put together) it would have put in place around 33% of India’s refining capacity post–liberalisation.
It would definitely imply an increase in crude oil imports apart from a surplus in products such as petrol and diesel. Decisions regarding the protection of domestic refiners in an over capacity situation and the funding of export losses have been the offshoot of these developments.
The government has promised to protect domestic refining manufacturers via higher customs duty, say for instance, petrol duties are to be raised to 7% by 2002 from the level of 3.6% at present.
Also, the petroleum ministry had around six months back decided to allocate the petrol export losses to the oil pool account. The decision would stand RPL in good stead as in an over-capacity situation the company would have to export petrol anyway.
The total production of petrol in FY2001 is estimated to be 8.8 million tonnes as against the expected consumption of 6.4 million tonnes. With the international prices of petrol almost 20% lower than domestic regulated prices, export losses would have taken a heavy toll on the company’s bottomline in the very first year of operations.
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