India offers stakes in petrochemical plants to Kuwait

State-run oil companies are scouting for partners for technology and marketing support, and are seeking fresh sources for supply of crude oil

Moving beyond the supplier-buyer relationship, India has offered Kuwait a stake in Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s Rs12,440-crore petrochemical plant at Dahej in Gujarat and Indian Oil Corp’s (IOC) proposed chemical unit at Paradip, reports PTI.

The oil-rich nation's national oil firm Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has time and again spurned offers for stakes in Indian refinery projects as it, like its Saudi counterpart Saudi Aramco, wanted auto fuel distribution rights—a proposition not possible considering only State-owned firms qualify for government subsidies.

Petroleum minister Murli Deora met his Kuwati counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah on the sidelines of the XII International Energy Forum here yesterday and offered a stake in the mega-petrochemical plants being built on the west and east coasts, said Sunil Jain, joint secretary in the petroleum ministry.

ONGC is keen to get an overseas major who can either bring technology or marketing support for its Dahej plant that will be built by February 2012.

IOC has been for long looking at equity partners in companies like Saudi Aramco and KPC, who can supply crude oil to the Paradip refinery project in Orissa.

New Delhi is looking at Kuwait and other oil-rich nations in the Gulf region for meeting crude oil demand from India’s new refinery plants. India's refining capacity is to increase from 180 million tonnes (MT) to 250MT by 2012.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia had yielded an assurance from the world’s largest oil exporter for increasing crude supplies from 25.5MT to 40MT a year by 2012.

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