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SMP Port wants more cargo for land to IOC

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KOLKATA : The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), Kolkata, has told Indian Oil (IOC) to bring more cargo to Haldia if they want additional land for expansion of Haldia refinery. With n aim to expand its Haldia refinery, IOC is asking for 175 acres of port land, which is on lease to Hindustan Fertilizer (HFCL). The fate of the refinery expansion still hangs in
balance though IOC feels that an expansion is due. During the BGBS, officials of the PSU oil company have said that IOC wants to expand the refinery.

The Executive Director of Indian Oil (IOC), Pritish Bharat, said Haldia is a crammed refinery and has only 630 acres for 8 million tonne capacity while Paradip has 3,300 acres for 15 million tonne capacity.

“We badly need land for expansion of the refinery. There is an idle land of 175 acres lying with HFCL. We wanted that land parcel and talks are on,” he added.

When contacted, SMP (Kolkata port) Chairman Vinit Kumar said that, the land is still with HFCL and not given back to the port authority till date. “HFCL had a due of Rs 450 crore for the land and our ministry has waived most of the dues,” he said. Kumar argued that when it gets back the land then the port would allot it to someone who will bring cargo to the dock system. “The land of existing Haldia Refinery too was given by port to IOC at a very favourable terms more than three decades back. But IOC had shifted most of its cargo to Paradip from Haldia and is now bringing crude to Haldia refinery via pipeline from Paradip,” he added.

The SMP chairman claimed that at one point of time IOC was bringing 12 million tonne cargo to Haldia now it has gone down to three-four million tonne.

“Most of the cargo has been diverted to Paradip now,” he added.

The initial processing capacity of the atmospheric/crude distillation unit (CDU) of the refinery was 2.5 million tonne, which was increased to 3.1 mtpa (million tonne per annum) in May 1988 and was further scaled up to 3.4 mtpa through in house debottlenecking in 1996.

The refinery augmented its capacity to process 6 mtpa of crude oil.

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