Companies & Sectors
Essar completes Vadinar expansion before schedule

Essar Oil has invested over Rs10,000 crore to expand capacity at its Vadinar refinery to 20 mt, or 405,000 barrels per day

Mumbai: Ruias-promoted Essar Oil on Tuesday announced completion of its Rs10,000-crore expansion project, four months ahead of schedule, at the Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, taking the annual capacity to 20 million tonne, reports PTI.

Completion of the optimisation project marks the end of the capex cycle and we are now geared to enjoy significant upside in margins. The Vadinar refinery accounts for about 10% of the country's refining capacity, Essar Oil, which is the country's second largest private refiner, said in a statement.

"We are very happy to announce the completion of our optimisation project much ahead of the schedule. With this commissioning, our capex cycle has now come to an end and we are fully geared to deliver the value of our investments to all our stakeholders," Essar Oil Managing Director and Chief Executive Lalit Gupta said in a statement.

The company has invested over Rs10,000 crore to expand capacity to 20 mt, or 405,000 barrels per day, which will improve complexity to 11.8.

This takes the total investment into the Vadinar facility to around Rs 24,000 crore, the company said, adding that the capital cost at Vadinar refinery is only half the global average for capacity creation.

Prior to expansion, the facility had 10.5 mt capacity and by 29 March 2012 this rose to 18 mt, involving an investment of Rs9,100 crore. But the optimisation project, involving an additional Rs1,700 crore capex, took the total capacity to 20 mt and investment to around Rs24,000 crore.


J&K to issue 70,000 artisan credit cards to craftsmen

The cards would help craftsmen from Srinagar to get hassle-free credit from banks

Srinagar: To enable craftsmen of Srinagar a hassle-free access to credit facilities from banking institutions, the Jammu and Kashmir government will issue 70,000 artisan credit cards, reports PTI.

“This year we will issue 70,000 Artisan Credit Cards so that the artisans of Srinagar get hassle free credit from banks,” Industries and Commerce Minister Surjeet Singh Slathia said during an interaction with artisans.

The minister said a calendar of handicrafts sale-cum- exhibition events has been formulated between May and September this year to provide marketing channels to the craftsmen during the current tourist season and ensuing Amarnath yatra.

“This will enable the artisans to sell their products to the tourists without exploitation of middlemen,” he added.

These stalls will be set-up by the handicrafts and handloom departments in all major tourist destinations like Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Baltal and Sonamarg.

Slathia said possibilities will also be explored to set-up sale counters for two months near Boulevard, where craftsmen can sell products to tourists.

He said in order to switch over to modern technology in the handicrafts sector, about 8,000 modern carpet weaving looms, each costing Rs50,000, will be distributed among the artisans free of cost in a phased manner.

The minister said the Pashmina Quality Control Laboratory to curb sale of fake shawls will come up in August 2012.


SBI launches 'signature' cards for HNIs

The SBI Signature Card is available at an annual fee of Rs5,000 and card holders are entitled to a full fare airline ticket or gift vouchers worth Rs5,000 from leading lifestyle brands upon enrolment

Mumbai: SBI Cards, the third largest credit card issuer in the country, said it has launched a 'signature' card targeted at the high net-worth individuals (HNIs), reports PTI.

"SBI Signature Card is another product innovation from our side and comes with a distinct value proposition. This product is in line with our plan to expand our presence in the premium customer segment," SBI Cards and Payment Services chief executive officer Kadambi Narahari said in a release.

Its competitors HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank already have offerings in niche segment but which are by invitation only.

The SBI Signature Card is available at an annual fee of Rs5,000. The card holders will also be entitled to a full fare airline ticket or gift vouchers worth Rs5,000 from leading lifestyle brands upon enrolment, the release said.

The card company is a joint venture between State Bank of India and GE of the US and already has a presence in 50 cities.

Set up in January 1998, SBI Cards is the third largest card issuer with a customer base of 2.2 million and a market share of nearly 13% in a 17-million cards market.

The average spend per card in India is one of the lowest at $755. It is as high as $3,352 in Australia and $2,084 in Thailand.


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