ONGC planning to invest $7.5 billion in Mangalore

MANGALORE (India) — State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) proposes to invest Rs350 billion ($7.5 billion) in the Mangalore Special Economic Zone that includes a state-of-the-art petrochemicals complex, officials said yesterday.

By (IANS)

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Published: Sat 24 Jun 2006, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:12 PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the Rs49 billion (over $1 billion) petrochemicals complex yesterday but his aircraft could not land at this coastal city of Karnataka because of inclement weather.

Officials at ONGC, however, said the work to construct the complex, to produce the building blocs for the petrochemicals industry — paraxylene and benzene — would continue, despite the prime minister being unable to flag it off.

"The message we have from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is that he is fully committed to the project. He would like to come again, and it is for the PMO to fix the dates," said ONGC's interim chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma.

Nevertheless, the weather acted as a big dampener for the people of this city, which has been wearing a festive look with hoardings, posters and festoons all over the place in anticipation of the big event.

"The Mangalore SEZ in 350 acres will have integrated operations in midstream and downstream operations in refining, petrochemicals, energy and liquefied petroleum gas and would be a precursor to a chain of investment," Sharma said.

"It is expected to remove the freight handicap faced by consumers in south India and would facilitate the advancement of the country's petrochemicals industry," said the interim chief of India's largest company, ranked 158th on the Fortune 500 list with a market capitalisation of $41.9 billion on March 31.

He said the proposed investment in the SEZ included $1.7 billion for enhancing the refining capacity of its subsidiary — Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd — to 15 million metric tonnes per annul from 9.7 million.

A holding company will be formed to execute the project in which ONGC would hold 46 per cent equity, Mangalore Refinery around three per cent and the balance will be with financial institutions and banks.

"ONGC will look for incentives from the Karnataka government that is similar to what Reliance Industries secured from Gujarat. As of now, being an SEZ no local, state or central tax is applicable in the complex," Sharma said.

The integrated aromatics facility at the SEZ is expected to produce around one million metric tones of paraxylene and 0.15 million metric tonnes of benzene each year.

The feedstock will be the naphtha generated at the refinery, which will produce two million metric tonnes of naphtha once the petrochemicals project commences. Other products include cooking gas, gasoline pool feed and tail gas.



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