Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd is looking to buy a 50% stake in Kenya’s sole refinery, half owned by Shell, BP Plc and Chevron, the Hindustan Times reported on 4 September.
The Kenyan government owns the remaining half of Kenya Petroleum Refineries and the newspaper, quoting industry sources, did not specify whose holding Reliance was eyeing.
A successful acquisition will allow Reliance, India’s biggest private sector company with a market value of over $67 billion, to source petroleum products for selling to European and American markets, the paper said.
A Reliance spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.
The newspaper said a regional Web site, allafrica.com, had reported Reliance’ interest in the refinery, which has a capacity to process about 60,000 barrels per day (bpd).
“The entry of Reliance into Kenya would create a major shift in the dynamics of the oil market there, given the cost of construction of Indian companies and its access to oil wells of the Middle East, and some of the world’s biggest refineries,” the paper said.
The Kenyan refinery is located in the coastal port town of Mombasa and is the biggest in East Africa.
Last May, the Kenyan government approved a $322 million spend for upgradation of the refinery to meet growing demand from landlocked neighbours Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Reliance operates a 660,000 bpd refinery in the western Indian state of Gujarat and its subsidiary Reliance Petroleum Ltd, in which Chevron holds 5%, is building a new 580,000 bpd unit nearby.