India's refining hub to be largest in world – Jamnagar

Reliance Industries and Essar Oil , India’s largest private sector oil refiners, are set to create the world’s biggest petroleum refining hub as part of plans to expand their plants in Jamnagar, western India. Essar has announced a $6bn expansion plan to more than triple capacity at its refinery, while Reliance, at its site a few kilometres away, is working on plans to almost double capacity.

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The expansion projects will bring their combined refining capacity at Jamnagar to 1.9m barrels a day, the largest in the world in a single location, outstripping hubs such as Rotterdam and Singapore and those in China and South Korea, according to figures compiled by Fesharaki Associates Consulting and Technical Services, Singapore.

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An FCC regenerator being prepared for erection at the Reliance Petrochemical Complex in Jamnagar

Under their plans, Essar announced it was lifting capacity at its plant to 700,000 b/d by 2010 from 220,000 b/d. Reliance is in the middle of a $6bn investment to expand capacity to 1.24m b/d from 660,000 b/d by next year. Once the expansion works are complete, the nearest comparable hub will be South Korea’s Ulsan at 1.35m b/d, Facts said.

Prashant Ruia, Essar group director, said the total development cost of the refinery including the expansion would be $9bn, which analysts consider extremely cheap against the global average of about $13bn-$15bn for the same size plant.

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