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IOC is setting up a dedicated polymer (e-sbr) unit near its Panipat refinery complex
State-run oil major, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), is planning to set up a dedicated unit to produce emulsion-styrene butadiene rubber (e-sbr). The unit will be set up adjacent to its Panipat refinery complex. IOC’s Panipat refinery complex will be commissioned in March.
E-sbr is one of the most widely used polymers in the world in many demanding applications. It is predominantly used for the production of car & light truck tyres and truck tyre retread compounds.
IOC has made a presentation before a committee of the ministry of forests and environment seeking environmental clearance for the e-sbr project.
However, IOC refused to comment on the proposed e-sbr facility. In an e-mail, Sharat Meshram, executive director, IOC said, “In this connection, please be informed that due to confidentiality requirement, the information cannot be shared.”
When it will be commissioned, the Panipat refinery complex will be one of IOC's biggest petrochemical projects. The cost of the naphtha cracker and polymer complex at Panipat was Rs14,439 crore.
The refinery project envisages setting up of a naphtha cracker plant based on captive utilisation of naphtha from Panipat, Mathura and Koyali refineries of IOC. With a capacity to produce 800,000 metric tonnes per year of ethylene, the complex will have associated units such as a hydrogenation facility and butadiene extraction & benzene extraction plants. According to an official from the company, the refinery complex will be commissioned in March.
IOC’s finances are currently under pressure with its key refining business losing money as prices of refined products, which are state controlled, have not increased in line with global crude oil prices. This has affected some of the company’s planned projects.
IOC’s net profit for the third quarter of FY09 declined 76.45% to Rs696.59 crore due to declining gross-refining margins, rising under-recoveries, increasing loss on bonds and on account of losses on fixed assets, finished products, stores and compensation for the fire which took place on 29 October 2009 at its Jaipur Terminal. The company is currently losing about Rs110 crore per day on selling fuels below cost.