Essar to fully commission Vadinar refinery in April 2007

Mumbai/Singapore: Essar Oil Ltd. has said that it will start preliminary activity on the commissioning of its new refinery, located in Vadinar in Gujarat, in October and complete the project by April 2007.

A statement for the company said that it expects the first consignment of crude to arrive in third week of September which will enable pre-commissioning activities to commence in October. As per plans, the refinery will initially process 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), rising to 210,000 bpd in the first part of next year.

The $2.2 billion refinery has faced repeated delays but the company now appears confident of an October commissioning. Officials say that have already bought 1 million barrels of Algerian Saharan Blend crude for delivery later this month. The refiner intends to export naphtha, reformate, diesel and jet-kerosene in December.

The refinery will initially produce about 10 per cent gas oil, 25 per cent naphtha, 15 per cent jet-kerosene, 15 per cent gasoline and 30 per cent vacuum gas oil, which will later be processed by a fluid catalytic cracker (FCC). Two critical secondary units — the FCC and diesel hydro desulphuriser — are expected to go on stream only by March 2007, as per indications provided by company officials.