India’s refining capacity expansions lags behind growth in fuel demand
India may export fewer fuels in the next four years as growth in the demand for oil products is rising faster than new refining capacity to produce them is being added, an Essar Oil company executive said on Monday.
“Over the next three to four years, other than a few brownfield (refinery expansions), we really don’t see any major expansions coming in,” Essar Oil Chief Executive Officer B Anand told S&P Global Platts APPEC conference in Singapore.
REFINED FUELS DEMAND
India’s rising disposable income has helped boost its demand for refined fuels, including gasoline, jet fuel and liquid propane gas (LPG) but its capacity to keep up with this demand may be strained in the coming years.
With only about 3.5 lakh barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity being added through new greenfield projects over the next four years, India’s dependence on LPG imports may rise while limiting its exports of oil products such as gasoline and diesel, so that it can cope with its domestic demand, Mr. Anand said. Essar runs an oil refinery in Vadinar, Gujarat, that can process 4 lakh bpd of crude oil.
“The possibility is always there but it is still early days,” replied Anand when asked if the company is considering an expansion of its refining capacity to help meet the increase in India’s fuel demand.
With Essar Oil’s recent ownership change, Anand pointed out that the company is currently focused on consolidating its businesses. In August, Russian oil major Rosneft and its partners — global trader Trafigura and Russian fund UCP — purchased a 98.26 per cent stake in Essar Oil in a deal announced in October.
India is a net importer of LPG, a fuel used in cooking and heating, and a net exporter of other products such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel.