India Oil to shelve refinery proposal

May 16, 2008 at 12:09 PM
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NEW DELHI, May 16 (UPI) -- State-run Indian Oil Corp. is contemplating shelving its 15 million-ton greenfield refinery in southern Tamil Nadu state.

The refinery, which the company had planned to set up at a cost of $12 billion at Ennore, a suburb of the city of Chennai (formerly known as Madras), would have been the single largest investment until now in Tamil Nadu, The Business Line newspaper reported Friday.

Sarthak Behuria, chairman and managing director of IOC, said at a news conference that the project may not be realized in the near future.

Behuria said there was already surplus refining capacity in the country and that many other companies had announced huge refineries. He said that the project was only on the long-term horizon and would not be taken up in the 11th five-year plan period (2007-2012). It has been three years since the IOC first proposed this project.

IOC's subsidiary, Chennai Petroleum Corp., said in a release that joint surveys with the Tamil Nadu government have identified 3,300 acres of land for the project.

"Prior to acquisition of this land, we are pursuing with Ministry of Environment and Forests and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board regarding the acceptability of the identified location from the environment angle," the release says.

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