Reports indicate that the refining capacity of downstream oil company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) may rise to 40 mn t by 2015.
Recently, the company commissioned a six-mn t refinery in Bina, Madhya Pradesh, while gradually increasing the capacity of its Mumbai facility to 12 mn t.
The company is in the process of raising the capacity of its Kochi Refinery (KRL) to 15.5 mn t over the next three years (from the present 9.5 mn t).
Reports indicate that KRL would ensure comfortable supplies of petrol, diesel and cooking gas to the west and south. In addition, the product pipeline linking the refinery to Coimbatore will be extended to Bangalore.
Further, the product-starved northern region will need an additional supply source. While KRL can help out in the interim, BPCL will eventually have to fast-track its plans for the Allahabad refinery, though this is not likely to happen before 2017, industry watchers opine.
With crude availability still being the biggest challenge for its Numaligarh refinery, its capacity is expected to stay unchanged at three mn t. By this time, the total refining output will be comfortably balanced with BPCL’s retail network, quite unlike the not-so distant past when KRL was not part of its kitty, reports suggest.