New Delhi: Indian refiners processed 4.1% more crude in February than a year earlier, data showed on Friday, but top private player Reliance Industries’ saw a 10.1% drop as weak global demand hurt its export-focused plant.
Reliance’s crude processing declined despite the firm commissioning its new 580,000 barrels per day (bpd) plant in December.
The new plant is adjacent to Reliance’s established 660,000 bpd refinery at Jamnagar in western Gujarat state, making it the world’s largest refining complex with capacity of 1.24 million bpd.
The private firm’s two refineries together processed 663,300 bpd in February compared to 738,300 bpd year ago, when only one plant was in use.
The government data showed refiners’ throughput rose to 3.363 million barrels of crude per day (bpd) in February.
February crude oil output was down 2.8% from a year earlier to 669,900 bpd, the data showed.
FACTS Global energy has forecast Indian refinery utilisation rates would decline from 105% in 2008 to 99% in 2009 and 99.2% in 2010.
It said in its February report that Reliance’s new refinery was expected to run below 100% capacity in the first half of 2009 due to the regional and global economic downturn.