NRL refutes ONGC allegation
GUWAHATI, June 15 – The Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) today refuted the allegations levelled against it by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGCL) that its shutdown had caused the latter huge losses, as unfounded.
During its Diesel Quality Upgradation Project (DQUP) period, that is, Mar’10 onwards, NRL continued to receive crude in line with its allocation. In fact crude allocation of 40 TMT for the month of May last was received in full and allocation of 120 TMT for the current month would be received. Of this amount, 33 TMT has already been received, said an official press release of the NRL here.
NRL Director, Technical, Dipak Chakravorty told this newspaper that the DQUP is a planned and approved project with a project duration of 24 months. Of the period, the last two months require (60 days) shutdown of the refinery for carrying out the final execution jobs.
The NRL had to undertake this revamp process about three years back at a cost of Rs 435 crore with a view to producing Euro –III and IV diesel, in accordance with the Government of India’s auto fuel policy.
The project is aimed at modification of crude distillation unit and expansion of hydrocracker unit by 30 per cent and hydrogen unit by 25 per cent so as to enable NRL to produce Euro-III and IV diesel.
This revamp route was taken considering the high investment of around Rs 1,600 crore required to set up a new diesel-hydrotreater unit. The shutdown that is demanded at the end part of the revamp process, was initially scheduled from March 1 to end April last.
But due to requests from the oil producers, shutdown was postponed to March 15 and accordingly it was scheduled to be completed by May 15. However, unprecedented rainfall in Assam this time made the project schedule suffer by a month.
Despite the adverse condition, crude distillation was commissioned on May 22 itself with a delay of only seven days. And the unit is operating since then at 50 per cent capacity.
The hydrogen unit which has also been commissioned and the hydrocracker unit which was mechanically completed on June 9 and is presently under commissioning, will be fully commissioned shortly.
In fact, these units, because of their complex nature, take about six to seven days for full commissioning. “Once the entire project is fully commissioned, we expect to absorb more crude. We are putting all efforts to expedite the activities,” said Chakravorty.
He also complained that NRL, which has an installed capacity of 3 million tonnes, is operating at around 2.5 million tonnes, on an average, because of crude constraints. Source: Assam Tribune