Mumbai: Reliance Industries (RIL) on Tuesday commissioned its refinery off-gas cracker (ROGC) complex of 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) capacity along with downstream plants and utilities. This marks the end of the $16 billion refining and petrochemicals expansion plan that RIL embarked on in 2014.

“The world’s first ROGC and downstream plants marks a paradigm shift in the profitability and sustainability of RIL’s petrochemicals business," Mukesh Ambani, RIL’s chairman and managing director, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Commissioning of the plant will help RIL double ethylene capacity and enter the league of top five petrochemical producers globally, in addition to lowering its fuel cost and boosting profits. There are nearly 270 ethylene plants globally with a combined capacity of over 170 mtpa. RIL’s combined ethylene capacity is now close to 4 mtpa at five of its manufacturing sites.

The ROGC complex has a unique configuration as it uses off-gases from RIL’s two refineries at Jamnagar as feedstock.

“This innovative approach of integration with refineries provides a sustainable cost advantage, making ROGC competitive with respect to the crackers in Middle-East and North America which have feedstock cost advantage," the company said.

ROGC is the latest addition to RIL’s existing cracker portfolio, consisting of cracker facilities at Nagothane in Maharashtra and Hazira, Dahej and Vadodara in Gujarat.

“With ROGC and imported ethane, RIL has one of the most competitive and flexible cracker portfolio," RIL said.