Kuwait Petro in refinery talks with Reliance Industries

Kuwait Petro in refinery talks with Reliance Industries


New Delhi: Kuwait Petroleum Corp is talking to Reliance Industries Ltd and other firms as it looks to build a large refinery and petrochemicals project in India, its chief executive said on Thursday, 6 December.

“We would like to have something in India. We are very serious about it ... We are looking for something either with Reliance or any other company," Saad Al-Shuwaib told reporters.

Al-Shuwaib said KPC was not looking to buy stakes in existing Reliance refineries.

“It could be greenfield or joint acquisition," he said, adding the firm would look to feed any projects with Kuwaiti crude. “We are looking for an integrated investment in refineries and petrochemicals." KPC was also looking for investment opportunities elsewhere in Asia, Al-Shuwaib said on a visit to New Delhi. On Wednesday, he held talks with Reliance officials in Mumbai.

Asked to comment on global crude prices, he said: “We see prices going up and down. We don’t see problems with the supply and demand. Only we see the geopolitical things affecting ... crises happening in the regions."

Asian and Middle East nations are building more than a dozen new refineries to feed demand in developed nations, where there has been little capacity expansion in recent years.

But many projects have been slowed by surging costs, material shortages and a lack of manpower among the contractors who build the units.

Kuwait in September approved a budget of 4 billion dinars (Rs56,374 crore, $14.29 billion) to build the Middle East’s largest refinery, more than double the initial estimate.

Reliance Industries and other private players have turned almost entirely to the export market as New Delhi forces the dominant state refiners to sell domestic fuel far below global crude costs, which have trebled in the last four years.

Reliance Petroleum Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, is building a 580,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery next to its parent’s existing 660,000 bpd plant in Gujarat.