IOCL refinery row: Fourth working group meet today

Bhubaneswar: The fourth meeting of the working group involving officials of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Odisha government, to resolve the incentive issue of the former’s Paradip refinery, will be held in New Delhi on Friday.

Notably, a meeting conducted in this regard on April 24 in New Delhi remained inconclusive.

Attending the meeting, Odisha chief secretary AP Padhi had told mediapersons that the required information was submitted to the working group to discuss in the next sitting.

Three meetings of the working group have already been held to resolve the dispute without any breakthrough so far. Union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan, however, hoped that a solution can be found through discussion in the working group.

Finance minister Pradip Amat said he expected that the Centre would agree to the points raised by the Odisha government in the interest of the state.

Meanwhile media reports said, unfazed by the stand-off with the Odisha government over grant of fiscal incentives to its Paradip crude oil refinery, IOCL is planning to expand the capacity of the refinery from 15 million tonne per annum (mtpa) currently to 20 mtpa and beyond.

“We are looking into the expansion of the refinery. The oil industry works on a narrow margin. We may go for expansion (of the Paradip refinery) to 20 million or beyond. We intend an investment of Rs 4,500 crore to upgrade the Paradip refinery to roll out petroleum products that would comply with BS-VI emission norms”, said Sanjiv Singh, director (refineries) of IOCL.

The proposed expansion plan is aimed at generating more cash flow and improving operating margins.