Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Ltd is considering a plan to boost its oil-refining capacity by about half, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The proposed plant, to come up at the world’s biggest refining complex in Jamnagar, will be able to process as much as 30 million tonnes of crude a year, the people said asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The company’s shares closed 2 percent higher in Mumbai, compared with 0.9 per-cent gain in the benchmark BSE Sensex index.
Reliance has begun discussions with global refinery process licencors and equipment vendors for the new refining train at the Jamnagar complex, the people said. The plant of the size planned by the company may cost $10 billion, they said. A Reliance spoke-sman didn’t reply to an email seeking comment.
Asia’s richest man seeks to cement Reliance’s dominance in the world’s fastest-growing major oil consuming nation as rivals acquire plants in India. Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell are also expanding into fuel retailing in India. International Energy Agency expects India’s energy demand to more than double by 2040, making it the single largest source of global growth. Shell has restarted retailing gasoline and diesel in the country, while Total partnered the Adani Group to set up liquefied natural gas import terminals and fuel retailing business. Last year, BP Plc expanded its partnership with Reliance to retail auto fuels.
Demand for fuel in India and the Middle East will make the two regions bigger oil consumers than the European Union by 2030, driven mainly by diesel for trucks and petrochemicals feedstock, according to the IEA.
Reliance is looking to process the dirtiest and heaviest crude and may focus on producing feedstock for petrochemicals, the people said.