Mumbai: India’s leading petrochemical producer and refiner, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), will commission its new refinery and Krishna-Godavari Basin gas fields in 3-6 months, Chairman Mukesh Ambani said on 12 June.
The 580,000 barrels a day refinery is being built by unit Reliance Petroleum Ltd (RPL) in Jamnagar in the western state of Gujarat. Chevron holds 5% stake uin the refinery.
RIL also plans to expand its polyester business, including by acquisitions, and the refinery of a subsidiary would open ahead of schedule this year, chairman Mukesh Ambani said.
Ambani, ranked by Forbes Magazine as the world’s fifth-richest man, also told a shareholders’ meeting that Reliance would seek opportunities in alternative energy as a natural extension to its conventional energy portfolio.
He reaffirmed that the $77 billion company was on track for oil and gas production from the fields later this financial year.
Ambani said that Reliance’s polyester capacity rose by a quarter to 2.5 million tonnes a year after it bought the assets of Malaysian polyester maker Hualon Corp last year.
The company would focus on speciality polyester, looking for opportunities in automotive, medical and construction fields.
“Reliance envisages consolidating further its global leadership in polyester by pursuing greenfield investment and acquisitions in the entire value chain,” he said.
A source had told Reuters in April Reliance would begin testing its new refinery in July and commission it in September.
Last week, Ambani said supplies from the new refinery would represent almost half of the estimated global oil demand growth in 2009, and should increase production capacity of both petrol and diesel by around 1%.
Together with Reliance Industries’ adjacent 660,000 bpd refinery, the new unit will make the Jamnagar complex the world’s biggest, with a capacity of 1.2 million bpd.
“Reliance would also commission annual capacity of 0.9 million tonnes of polypropylene at Jamnagar later this year, making it the third-largest polypropylene maker in the world,” he said.
“The petrochemicals business would first be driven by new capacities that Reliance would be bringing on stream in the context of buoyancy in demand,” Ambani said
“Reliance Industries has made a total of 41 oil and gas discoveries to date,” he told shareholders.