Rajasthan to save Rs40,000 cr from revised project cost of Barmer refinery

Rajasthan will save nearly Rs40,000 crore from the revised internal rate of return (IRR) from 6.32 per cent to 12.2 per cent and revised viability gap funding of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation's Barmer refinery-cum-petrochemical complex, petroleum  minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said.

The improved IRR has resulted in reducing the financial burden on the state government from Rs56,040 crore to Rs16,845 crore, resulting in saving of Rs40,000 crore to the state ex-chequer. Cost of the land up to Rs188.80 crore has also been adjusted against the upfront equity of Rajasthan government in the project, the minister said.

''The earlier internal rate of return from the project was at 6 per cent with a viability gap support of Rs3,736 crore per year from the state government for a 15 year period. The IRR from the project is now 12 per cent with just Rs1,123 crore per year viability gap support from the state government'' Pradhan said while speaking to reporters.

It was decided to start physical activities at the project site before the formal ground breaking ceremony so as not to repeat the mistake committed by the then state government of launching the project only on paper.

All the statutory clearances / approvals for commencement of work like environmental clearance, approval from the centre for the revised project and execution of lease deed of the allotted land of 4,567.32 acre for the refinery plant were obtained expeditiously.

Further, 250-acre land has been allotted for development of a marketing terminal at Pachpadra, Barmer.

Construction of boundary wall has been started after execution of lease deed of land on 29 September 2017 by awarding the tender of Rs40.70 crore. Other tenders of Rs50 crore have been awarded for pre-project activities like route-surveys of crude pipeline, product pipeline, water pipelines and topographic survey and soil investigations.

The earlier refinery was designed for BS-III fuel while now the refinery will make latest BS-VI fuel.

Pradhan was responding to criticism from the Indian National Congress that had raised questions over the Prime Minister Narendra Modi re-laying the foundation stone of the Barmer refinery project later this month.

He said, ''the then Congress president, Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone of a Bharat Stage III refinery in Barmer on September 22, 2013. The Model Code of Conduct came in force on September 27, 2013. This means that the Congress was using this project as a political stunt.''

''None of the statutory approvals including the environmental clearance and land acquisition had been completed for the project. They are in place now,'' Pradhan added.

Pradhan said that the Barmer refinery will be the country's first Greenfield Bharat Stage VI refinery cum petrochemical project. The project is expected to be commissioned by 2022-2023.

The project has a total capacity of 9 million tonne. For this project, 2.5 million tonne crude will be sourced from the Barmer fields and the remaining 6.5 million tonne will be sourced through a pipeline connecting the refinery to the West Coast through Gujarat.

The revised capital expenditure for the project will now be Rs43,129 crore. This includes Rs 2,500 crore additional expenditure for laying the pipeline, according to a Petroleum Ministry official. The earlier project cost stood at Rs37,229 crore.