Initial work on Bhatinda oil refinery likely by 2011:LN Mittal

Initial work on Bhatinda oil refinery likely by 2011:LN Mittal

New Delhi: Steel czar Lakshmi N Mittal on Sunday said initial installations at the Bhatinda oil refinery is likely to come up in the first half of 2011 and the project is not facing any major hurdles.

“We are estimating first installations to be completed sometime in the first half of 2011," Mittal said in an interview to private news channel CNBC TV18.

There had been reports that Mittal has threatened to stop work on the Rs18,919-crore oil refinery project at Bhatinda in Punjab unless the state government restored fiscal incentives it had taken away a few years ago.

“There is no problem as such... what we have been discussing with the Punjab government is about the facilities which they should provide to an investment of this size," Mittal said.

The steel tycoon said, he had been meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the officials of Punjab government and that they were supportive of the project.

State-owned HPCL and Mittal Energy Investment Pte Ltd, Singapore — a Lakshmi N Mittal Group Company, hold 49% stake each in HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd, the firm implementing the Bhatinda refinery project.

He said the joint venture firm has asked the Punjab government to match facilities with other competing states.

“...they are very happy to support us but they are looking for resources to provide us with those facilities," he said.

The JV firm is in talks with the Centre and state governments on the issues related with the project and hopes for an early solution.

“...I am sure that we will have a solution and this project will continue to make progress," Mittal said.

The refinery is the single largest investment at any location in Punjab. About 10,000 people are working at the site.