Barmer refinery will be “Jewel of the Desert” bringing jobs, opportunities & joy: Hardeep Puri

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New Delhi (21/02/2023): Barmer refinery will be the “Jewel of the Desert” (रेगिस्तान का नगीना), bringing jobs, opportunities and joy to the people of Rajasthan, said Hardeep S. Puri, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, while addressing the press at HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Limited (HRRL) complex today. The Minister reiterated that the project has been conceived as per the Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Greenfield Refinery cum Petrochemical Complex at Barmer, Rajasthan is being setup by a Joint Venture company HPCL Rajasthan Refinery Limited (HRRL) of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Government of Rajasthan (GOR) having a stake of 74% and 26% respectively.

The project was conceived in 2008 and was initially approved in 2013. It was reconfigured and work commencement was done in 2018 by Prime Minister of India.

More than 60% of the project has been completed in spite of the severe setback faced during 2 years of COVID 19 pandemic.

The Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas informed that the HRRL refinery complex will process 9 MMTPA of crude and produce more than 2.4 million tons of petrochemicals which will reduce import bill on account of petrochemicals. This project will act as an anchor industry for industrial hub not only for the western Rajasthan but also will steer India to its vision of achieving 450 MMTPA refining capacity by 2030, said the Minister.

The project will bring self-reliance to India in terms of import substitution of petrochemicals, Puri added. Current imports are in a tune of Rs 95000 cr, the complex post commission shall reduce the import bill by Rs 26000 cr.

Underlining the socio-economic benefits of the project in terms of employment generation and infrastructure development, the Minister said that the project has engaged about 35,000 workers in and around the complex. Further, about 1,00,000 workers are engaged indirectly.

Furthermore, a Co-ed School till class 12th catering to about 600 students will be opened. “The school land has been acquired and the architectural layout has been finalized and the construction has commenced. It is expected to be completed by Dec 2023. This shall be the first school in the vicinity.”, the Minister said.

Puri informed that a 50-bed hospital is also being developed. The land has been acquired and it shall be completed Dec 2023.

Speaking about the increase in connectivity in the region due to establishment of the refinery, the Minister said that construction of roads for the villages in the vicinity will help in improving connectivity in the region.

The Minister also mentioned about the environmental benefits of the project. He informed that a wetland habitat for migratory birds like Demoiselle crane is being developed in the refinery complex. Other works which will benefit the environment include rejuvenation of natural surface water bodies and avenue plantation from Pachpadra to Khed.  Further, study by AFRI is being conducted for the desert lands in the complex to convert the same into green belt considering the high salt content in the land. Once the recommendations are received the plantation shall be carried out with the help of Forest department under deposit works, said the Minister.

When talked about increase in revenue because of this project, the total annual contribution of Petroleum sector to the state exchequer shall be about Rs 27,500 cr out of which, contribution by the refinery complex shall be Rs 5,150 cr. Further, the exports of the products to a tune of about Rs 12,250 cr shall earn valuable foreign exchange.

The project is also expected to give a boost to industrial development in the region. During the construction phase the project will lead to growth of construction industry, mechanical fabrication shops, machining and assembly units, Supply of heavy equipment like cranes, trailers, JCB etc, transportation and hospitality industry, automotive spares and services and sand blasting and painting shop etc.

Petchem downstream Small-Scale Industries shall develop using petrochemical feedstock from RRP like, Injection Moulding:  for Furniture, Crockery, Storage tanks, Bulk containers; Auto Molding, Packaging, Medical Equipment etc.; Blow Moulding:  for making containers etc.; Rotomoulding:  water tanks, containers, etc.; Films:  Cement bags, wrapping material, adhesive tapes, etc. and others:  Tyres, Pharmaceutical, Detergents, Perfumes, inks, Nail polish, paint thinners etc.

It will also lead to development of major downstream industries like chemical, petrochemical & plant equipment manufacturing.

HRRL will produce Butadiene, which is the raw material to manufacture Rubber, which is largely used in Tyre industry. This will provide impetus to Automotive industry. Currently India is importing around 300 KTPA synthetic Rubber. With the availability of the key raw material, Butadiene, there is significant scope of reduction in import dependency in Synthetic Rubber. As India is poised in high growth trajectory in Automotive industry, Butadiene will play a catalytic role in this segment.

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