PM to commence Barmer refinery project next week
NEW DELHI: Dismissing the assertion of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on the upcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Barmer to lay foundation stone for an oil refinery plant, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said that no physical activities on the ground were initiated on the project during the previous Congress rule.
While stating that the refinery project was approved by the Centre in 2013 and the foundation stone was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Pradhan said that 4800 acre of land was allotted for the project without any lease deed being executed. Even ‘Environment clearance' was not obtained, he added.
“For the first time seven refineries and petrochemical complexes are about to begin their functions in India and will go on floor from January 16, with all clearances and tenders,” Pradhan further added.
A joint venture agreement was signed between the Rajasthan government (26 per cent) and HPCL (74 per cent) last year.
Sources said earlier it was expected to be scheduled in the month of December of 2017, however, due to Lok Sabha byelections in Alwar and Ajmer the occasion has been postponed to this month.
Earlier, IRR of the project was 6.32 and now it has been improved to 12.2 per cent. This resulted in reducing the financial burden on the Rajasthan government from Rs. 56,040 crore to Rs. 16, 845 crore, Petroleum Minister further added.
Meanwhile, the centre also feels that the oil refineries in the west coast in both Rajasthan and Maharashtra will add another 120 million metric ton refining capacity in the next seven years. This refinery project will also generate more employment opportunities— 40000 indirect during peak construction period and 1000 direct employment, a ministry release mentioned.
“It will enhance the downstream industries based on petrochemicals and Ancillary Support Industries,” the minister also said.