Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on October 13 said there was no scaling down of the capacity of the planned mega 60 MTPA refinery on the west coast as it was essential to meet future fuel and petrochemical demand in the country. Pradhan also said the privatization of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) was very much on track but the government was treading cautiously given the size of the divesture.
Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum 2020, he said fuel demand is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels in the first quarter of the 2021 calendar year. “India currently has an oil refining capacity of around 250 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). In the next decade, we want to add another 100 million tonnes. Looking at our demand, we must have 350 million tonnes refining capacity by 2030,” he said.
India, the world’s third-largest oil consumer, is likely to see fuel consumption double by 2050 despite the push for renewables and alternate sources of energy such as battery-run vehicles or EVs. Pradhan said India’s dependence on hydrocarbons will continue in the near future. And to meet the future demand, the planned refinery on the west coast was essential.