Mittal eyes stake in BPCL, HPCL refineries

Mittal eyes stake in BPCL, HPCL refineries

New Delhi: Close on the heels of acquiring 49% stake in HPCL’s Bhatinda refinery, India-born billionaire Lakshmi N Mittal is eyeing stake in two more new refineries being set up at Bina in Madhya Pradesh and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Mittal is in talks to take 20% stake in state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd’s 9,100 crore, six million tons a year Bina refinery that is to be commissioned by 2010-11, industry sources said.

The steel tycoon is also talking to another public sector firm Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd for a stake in its proposed greenfield nine million tons refinery-cum-petrochemical complex at Vishakhapatnam.

HPCL is also talking to France’s Total, state-run gas firm GAIL (India) and explorer Oil India Ltd for a possible four-way partnership in the 25,000-30,000 crore project.

“Total was already talking to HPCL for a stake in the state-run firm’s planned doubling of capacity of the existing refinery at Vizag to 15 million tons. HPCL it seems has abandoned the Vizag expansion and is now planning the new refinery-cum-petrochemical complex in the country’s first Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR)," a source said.

Singapore-based Mittal Energy Investments Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Mittal Investment - the holding company of L N Mittal, recently took 49% stake in HPCL’s nine million tons Bhatinda refinery in Punjab. The 18,919 crore Bhatinda refinery is scheduled to be commissioned by 2011.