The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved trebling of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd’s (NRL) capacity to 9 million tonne per annum (mtpa) at a cost of Rs. 22,594 crore. The expansion project at Morangi in Assam’s Golaghat district will help augment the crude availability for the region’s refineries and meet the deficit of petroleum products in the north east, according to a government release.

The project involves setting up of a crude oil pipeline from Paradip in Odisha to Numaligarh and a product pipeline from Numaligarh to Siliguri in West Bengal. The project is to be completed within 48 months, after approval and receipt of statutory clearances.

The total project cost of will be financed by a mix of debt, equity and Rs. 1,020 crore in viability gap funding (VGF). A debt of Rs. 15,102 crore will be raised by NRL which will also deploy Rs. 2,307 crore via internal accruals. The promoters, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Oil India Ltd and Government of Assam will contribute to equity.

The Numaligarh expansion is part of the government’s ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for the North East’. The objectives of the 2030 Plan are to leverage the region’s hydrocarbon potential, enhance access to clean fuels, improve availability of petroleum products, facilitate economic development and to link common people to the economic activities in this sector.

The vision focuses on pipeline connectivity for carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas, petroleum products, oil and lubricants (POL); building refineries and import links; and development of compressed natural gas (CNG) highways and city gas distribution network.

The states covered include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

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