HMEL to shut Bathinda refinery from mid-March to raise its capacity: report

During the shutdown HMEL will raise the crude processing capacity of the existing crude distillation unit to about 225,000 bpd


A screen grab of HMEL website
A screen grab of HMEL website

New Delhi: HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), part owned by steel tycoon L.N. Mittal, plans to shut its 180,000 barrel per day (bpd) Bathinda refinery in Punjab for about 40 days from mid-March to raise its capacity by a quarter, people familiar with the matter said.

During the shutdown HMEL will raise the crude processing capacity of the existing crude distillation unit to about 225,000 bpd, people with knowledge of the plan said.

State-refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mittal Energy Investments Pvt Ltd own 49% stake each in the project.

HMEL will also raise the capacity of its sulphur recovery unit to 700 tonne a day from 600 tonnes as it seeks to increase the processing of cheaper tougher grades to maximise profit, said one of the sources.

The refiner will also increase the capacity of its vacuum gasoil hudrotreater to 3.5 million tonnes a year from 3 million tonnes now and build a bitumen blowing unit, this source said.

Bitumen demand in India is rising as the country expands its road network.

The refiner also plans to convert its captive power plan, running on diesel and gas, to be petcoke fired.

All other secondary units such as the delayed coker and fluid catalytic cracker will also be shut for maintenance, said the two sources, who are not authorised to speak to the media.

HMEL’s chief executive Prabh Das did not respond to calls from Reuters seeking comment. Reuters

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