New Delhi: Bathinda refinery, the producer of 180,000 barrels per day (bpd), started crude oil processing in trial runs on 29 August a source with direct knowledge of the plant told Reuters on Tuesday, with first products expected in four to five days.
The refinery is owned by Hindustan Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), a joint venture between state-run Hindustan Petroleum and billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s Mittal Energy.
Project consultant, Engineers India Ltd (EIL), had said last month the plant would start crude runs in August and be fully operational by November.
The land-locked refinery is in the northern Punjab state. It adds to India’s current refining capacity of close to 4 million bpd.
The last refinery commissioned in India was earlier this year, when Bharat Oman Refinery Ltd (BORL), a joint venture of Bharat Petroleum and Oman Oil Co, started its 120,000 bpd Bina plant in central India.
Refiners from Malaysia and China to India are investing billions of dollars to boost capacity to feed rising regional demand, while counterparts in the United States and Europe restructure or shut plants as fuel sales slow.