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Nine MT refinery at Nagapattinam

This large corporation, part of Indian Oil, plans to set up a 9-million tonne refinery at Nagapattinam. Investments of Rs.30,000 crore are envisaged.
S N Pandey, Managing Director said it may take around 4 years to commence operations in 2023.
CPCL, then known as Madras Refineries Ltd, was commissioned on 27 September 1969. As a standalone refinery, owned by Government of India, Amoco of the USA and the National Iranian Oil Company, it started with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes and was constructed in quick time at a modest cost of Rs. 45 crore. Its operations have been consistently good. For five decades, CPCL has been meeting the requirements of the south of a wide range of refined products that include light, middle and heavy distillates. CPCL also set-up a 0.5 million tonne refinery at Nagapattinam to refine the crude from the Cauvery Basin. During 2017-18 CPCL refined 10.789 million tonnes of crude. Of these, Manali refinery accounted 10,289 MT and the balance by the Cauvery basin
refinery.

A large supplier of petrol and diesel

CPCL produced 4599 tonnes of high-speed diesel and 1107 tonne of motor spirit (petrol). The distillate yield of 73.2 per cent, was the highest so far. Its consolidated turnover for 2017-18 was Rs. 44,136 crore and profit after tax Rs. 927 crore.
Pandey said that the Nagapattinam refinery will produce polypropylene. This can open up the prospects for many downstream units.
Right from the start, CPCL has been supplying naphtha to the neighbouring Madras Fertilizers. With MFL getting ready to shift to natural gas as feedstock, this naphtha will become surplus. Pandey pointed to Manali naphtha fetching a good export price due to its quality and envisaged no difficulty in exporting around 7-8 million tonnes of naphtha. He also pointed to the interest on the part of a couple of companies down south in purchasing naphtha.
The CPCL refinery has been processing high sulphur crude and thus produces sulphur, which will be available for downstream units.

Prospects for a petrochemical complex

What are the chances of setting up a naphtha cracker? Pandey said that this capital-intensive project requires a large land area. CPCL will only be too happy to supply naphtha that will be available in good quantities, he added.
CPCL employs around 1700. This mother unit feeds a large number of units down-stream and has been contributing richly to the development and prosperity of the region.
IE has been stressing the needs for chemical and petrochemical units in Tamil Nadu. The Nagapattinam refinery can be a game-changer.

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