Russian energy giant, Rosneft, has expressed its intention to establish a new refinery in India in partnership with local state-owned refiners. This development comes as Indian state-run refiners adjust their plans for a proposed $44-billion refinery project on the country's western coast.
Preliminary discussions have taken place between Rosneft and Indian government officials, as well as executives from state-run refiners, regarding the potential collaboration.
Rosneft is seeking to build a greenfield refinery in India through a joint venture with domestic refiners, sources familiar with the matter have revealed to The Economic Times. LiveMint could not independently verify the report.
The aim is to provide an alternative to the long-pending west coast refinery project, which has faced delays for several years. The new venture with Rosneft would be separate from the existing Gujarat refinery operated by Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy.
While it remains uncertain which Indian refiner will partner with Rosneft, potential candidates include Indian Oil (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. (BPCL), according to ET.
The former has shown optimism in expanding its capacity and already maintains a crude purchase agreement with Rosneft. On the other hand, BPCL possesses a suitable land parcel for a refinery in Uttar Pradesh.
State-owned refiners have recognized the need for an alternative project to the west coast refinery, originally intended to involve a 50% stake by Saudi Aramco in 2018. However, issues such as land availability and political conflicts in Maharashtra have caused complications, dampening the prospects for the project.
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Rosneft has emphasised its commitment to expanding cooperation with Indian partners, highlighting its interest in collaboration across the entire petroleum production, refining and product sales chain. The specifics of the partnership will be revealed through future company announcements, according to the publication.
The potential joint venture between Rosneft and Indian refiners marks a significant development in the Indian energy sector, providing an alternative path for refinery expansion and fostering international cooperation.
The involvement of a major Russian energy company in India's refining industry could have far-reaching implications, bringing expertise and investments that could enhance the nation's energy infrastructure.
Source: Live Mint