Assam govt give OIL Rs 500 crore to increase stake in Numaligarh Refinery

Assam government to pay the remaining Rs 1,187 crore by September this year for increased stake in Assam based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL).
India Limited (OIL) has paid Rs 2,187 crore on behalf of Government of India. State government in March last year paid Rs 500 Crore. On Thursday, the state government paid another Rs 500 Crore.

On 25th March, 2021 a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) was signed between BPCL and consortium of Oil India Ltd. (OIL) and Engineers India Limited (EIL) for sale of 43.05 crore shares in NRL to the consortium at a consideration of Rs. 9,375.96 crores. EIL paid Rs.700 crores for 3.21 crore shares while OIL bought 39.84 crore shares for Rs. 8,675.96 crores. The remaining 2.29 crore equity shares held by BPCL have been purchased by the Government of Assam for Rs. 500 crores. With these transactions, BPCL has transferred its entire 61.65% holding in NRL to the Consortium and Government of India. The Assam government initially had 12.35 which increased to 26 percent.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that together with OIL we will re-energise Namrup Fertiliser project. “We are partners with OIL in four or five projects. PSU Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd (BCPL) in Lepatkata has started making profits. With investment of Rs 1500 Crore we are coming up with a 500 Tons Per Day (TPD) methanol expansion project of Assam Petrochemicals Limited (APL) at Namrup.”

Numaligarh Refinery, popularly known as “Accord Refinery” is the largest among the four refineries operating in Assam. The refinery was set up as per Clause 7 of Assam Accord.

Sarma said, “As Finance minister in the 2020-21 budget I have planned to increase our stake in the refinery and made a budgetary provision of Rs 1400 Crore. With disinvestment of BPCL around it was a tough call to keep NRL out of disinvestment. We approached Prime minister Narendra Modi and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.”

He added, “To maintain the PSU nature of the refinery, OIL was roped in. We did not want to lose this opportunity for we had once lost the opportunity while the refinery was set up. On the eve of assembly polls, we discussed this Prime minister while he was in Jonai in Assam. It was decided that a token amount will be paid before March 31 and OIL will pay the whole amount pertaining to the state government’s stake.”

Sarma said already Rs 1000 Crore is paid to OIL and rest will be paid by September this year. “With NRL people of Assam have an emotional connection. The amount of investment we are making will come back to us in the next three to four years. Last year we got a dividend of Rs 335 Crore.”

Asserting that investing in NRL makes business sense as the refinery is hugely expanding. NRL has initiated an integrated Refinery Expansion project. NRL will import crude at Paradip port to meet its requirement post Refinery Expansion from 3 to 9 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum).

NRL will treble its capacity from existing 3 MMTPA to 9 MMTPA.

The chief minister said the 1800 km long pipeline from Odisha to Numaligarh in Assam will supply crude to Bongaigaon Refinery. The refinery will also supply petroleum products to Myanmar and Bangladesh. NRL is also coming up with a bio refinery and key raw material is bamboo. It will require 5 lakh bamboos per year.

He said that with OIL, Assam government’s energy arm is exploring a block near Namrup.

Sushil Chandra Mishra, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of OIL said in the next three to four years Oil plans to increase its crude oil production from 3(million metric tonnes per annum) to 4 MMTPA. ” We are also targeting to increase gas production from 8 million metric standard cubic meters per day to 11. For this we are investing close to Rs 15,000 xrore.”


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