IOC beats Reliance to become nation’s No.1 refiner

IOC beats Reliance to become nation’s No.1 refiner

New Delhi: State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has surpassed Reliance Industries to regain its position as nation’s biggest refiner after it completed expansion of its Panipat unit.

“We have this week completed expansion of our Panipat refinery (in Haryana) to 15 million tonnes (from 12 million tonnes)," IOC director (Refineries) B N Bankapur said today.

Before the expansion, IOC’s eight refineries had a total crude oil refining capacity of 51.2 million tonnes a year and together with its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL), it had a combined refining capacity of 61.7 million tonnes.

After Panipat expansion, IOC group’s refining capacity has increased to 64.7 million tonnes, ahead of 62 million tonnes of refining capacity that Reliance Industries has at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

IOC was the largest oil refiner in the country before Reliance started its 29 million tonnes a year only-for-exports unit adjacent to its 33 million tonnes a year plant at Jamnagar.

“This year have raised Haldia refinery capacity by 1.5 million tonnes to 7.5 million tonnes," Bankapur said.

IOC is mulling raising the capacity of its Koyali refinery in Gujarat to 16 or 18 million tonnes a year from current 13.7 million tonnes a year.

“We will conduct feasibility of raising Koyali refinery capacity to either 16 or 18 million tonnes in next 3-4 months," he said.

Also IOC has sought approval from Supreme Court to raise capacity of its 8 million tonnes Mathura plant to 11 million tonnes.

IOC’s refining capacity would rise to 80 million tonnes by 2012 after it commissions a 15 million tonnes a year unit at Paradip refinery in Orissa.