Reliance plans to shut VGO unit, may hit LPG supply

Reliance plans to shut VGO unit, may hit LPG supply


New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is planning to close down a desulphurizing unit at its 660,000 barrel per day refinery for maintenance in December for 10 days. The close down of the unit will result in a reduced supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to state-run firms, informed sources said.

Reliance, however, has said that it has enough stocks to meet the supply demand and there is no question of shortage. Reliance plans to shut the 100,000 bpd vacuum gas oil hydrotreater for 10 days from 7 December to replace a catalyst, sources in the government and at Reliance said late on 28November.

A VGO hydrotreater removes sulphur from heavy feedstock to produce naphtha, jet fuel and LPG. Paresh Chaudhry, president, Reliance Group declined to comment.

Reliance had obtained export unit status for its refinery early this year, which licensed it to ship out all of its products. But for exporting LPG, it needs special permission from the government.

Reliance sells almost all of its LPG output to state-run refiners to meet domestic demand. “Next month they were supposed to give us 248,000 tonnes of LPG but they plan to shut down a secondary unit for maintenance so they will be giving us around 230,000 tonnes," said an Indian Oil Corporation official.

A source in the ministry also confirmed the planned shutdown of the secondary unit and subsequent low LPG supplies from Reliance.