After 31-year delay, Assam cracker unit, Numaligarh Refineries' wax plant dedicated to nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday dedicated to the nation the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL), a petrochemical complex, at Lepetkata, near Dibrugarh, 31 years after it was conceived and its project cost doubled to Rs9,965 crore.

Set up as a public sector unit, the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd (BCPL) has GAIL as its main promoter with 70-per cent equity participation, with Oil India Ltd (OIL), Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) and the Assam government holding 10 per cent each.

The second petro-chemical complex in the region as well as in Dibrugarh district, it will produce 2.20 lakh tonnes of LLDPE/HDPE, 60,000 tonnes of polymer-grade polypropylene, 55,750 tonnes of pyro-gasoline and 12,500 tonnes of fuel oil per day.

BPCL will give a huge boost to the plastics industry and generation of massive employment to the tune of 1 lakh in the North East region, union minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar said on the occasion.

The prime minister also inaugurated a 50,000-tonne wax plant – the largest so far in the country – that is part of the public sector Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, also located in upper Assam.

The Rs676-crore wax plant has been developed by IIP Dehradun, EIL and NRL, with the unit excepted to cut down sizeable portion of paraffin wax import, and the entire demand for Microcrystalline Wax which is currently being 100 per cent imported.

Modi, meanwhile, took a dig at the erstwhile Congress regimes for failing to implement projects on time, which not only led to cost escalation but also frustration among the people waiting to benefit from them.

The Assam gas cracker project, whose cost almost doubled due to the inordinate delay including a change of the project site, finally saw the light of the day after 31 years on Friday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating it to the nation at Lepetkota near Dibrugarh.

Highlighting the importance of completing projects in time, the prime minister said it would ensure employment generation, and avoid massive cost overruns. He said rapid industrial development of the country is necessary to create employment for India's youth. In this context, the prime minister mentioned his `Prtagati' initiative, which he said is giving impetus to stalled projects worth lakhs of crores of rupees.

The prime minister reiterated that eastern India must develop, for the all-round development of India. In this context, he said the union government is paying special attention to the North East region by boosting infrastructure and connectivity.

He said the initiatives of the union government, including MUDRA and Start-up India, were aimed at creating fresh opportunities for the youth. He said employment opportunities have to be created not just in big cities but in smaller towns too. He said the union government is working on the principle of cooperative federalism, and both the centre and state governments have to work together for development.