BPCL has indeed strengthened and expanded its areas of core competencies
throughout the country. In its constant efforts to meet ever-increasing demand
for petrochemical products, the company is expanding and diversifying its
horizons. In an exclusive interview with CEW,
P Padmanabhan, Executive Director
- Refineries Co-ordination, BPCL,
talks about sustainable initiatives, refinerypetchem
integration and increasing competition in the country. Padmanabhan is
also in-charge of Petrochemicals Project of BPCL.
In recent times, as focus of policy
makers as well as consumers has shifted
towards the planet and profit, a new
dimension of industrial growth in the
form of sustainability has been added.
Yes, it is imperative we protect the planet.
If we donĘt do that, our very survival will
be at stake. At BPCL we are also ensuring
contribution to the welfare of the society.
In our annual report, we have talked
at length on Non-Conventional Energy
Initiatives and explained how BPCL is firm
to tap non-conventional energy sources like
bio-diesel, wind energy, solar energy and
fuel cells. In this regard, steps are taken
to develop non-conventional or renewable
resources of energy. The organisation
believes that promoting green fuels will
protect the environment by reducing
pollution and dependency on imported fuels.
Further, the organisation is in discussion
with various State Governments including
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Karnataka to set
up Bio-diesel Value Chains in these states.
What are you views on refinery and
petchem integration? What are the
key areas India will have to address to
emulate this model successfully?
There is always synergy in integrating
refinery and petrochemicals. Refiners should
go for petrochemical because petrochemical
profitability is higher than refining over the
cycle; On average over the medium term,
petchem offers higher profitability than fuels
only refinery; Combined refinery-petchem
complexes can be best option for global
competitive advantage; Low cost feedstock
from refinery leads to better synergy and
value addition; petchem in the product
portfolio hedges against drop in price/
demand of fuels; and Irrespective of location,
refining-petrochemical integration can
India is somewhere lacking in implementing
the PCPIR concept. There are couples of
regions, which have been announced but
they are not functional as of now. This is
something which needs to be addressed.
All the issues which are obstructing the
operations towards making the PCPIR
functional must be resolved immediately
and these entire regions must go on stream.
Please tell us about the refinery and
petrochemical integration or other additions
undertaken by BPCL at its refineries in the
country, particularly at Kochi refinery.
As we had announced earlier, we plans
to spend up to
140 billion (USD 2.51
billion) over the next five years to expand
its Kochi refinery. Under its expansion plan,
the company will set up a petrochemical
fluid catalytic cracker, which will generate
500 thousand metric tons per annum of
propylene, to help the company diversify
into petrochemicals. At our Kochi refinery,
we are expanding Refinery capacity and
the configuration is chosen to set up niche
Propylene derivative project, which is
integrated with the Refinery. The proposed
joint venture for Kochi refinery will
encourage a myriad of downstream small
scale units. Some of the products proposed
in our JV are Acrylic Acid, Acrylates, SAP,
Oxo Alcohol, etc.
By 2015, all 23 plants of Sadara
Petrochemical complex are expected
to go on-stream with approximately
45 per cent of supplies targeted for the Indian market. How do you see that as a
competition in Indian domestic market?
The business environment in Middle East is
completely different from India. If we have
to compete with an organisation, which
is operating from outside India, we have
to be innovative and extremely efficient.
Government policies have big role to play
in ensuring favourable environment for us.
We have to be cost competitive in terms
of both Capex and Opex. We have to
have optimum world scale size plants. Our
manufacturing and marketing strategies
should be innovative. Further, we have
look at minimising fringe and logistics cost.
BPCL will invest about
20,000 crores in
expansions and diversification during the
12th five year. The integrated expansion
of the BPCL-Kochi Refinery will make the
facility one of the largest public sector
refineries in the country.
How was your experience at Chemtech
World Expo 2013?
It was heartening to note the response
to exhibition and conferences organised
by Chemtech Foundation. There was
an opportunity to exchange notes with
potential entrepreneurs, Licensors and
EPC companies. I am sure this will lead to
further development of the Petrochemical
industry in India.