Quitol (South Goa): Awaiting the completion of its refining capacity to 9 MMTPA by the end of calendar year 2025, state-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) has plans to export refined fuels to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan told PSU Watch in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of India Energy Week (IEW) 2024. NRL is currently executing a major expansion project of capacity augmentation of its refinery from present 3.0 MMTPA to 9.0 MMTPA by installing a 6 MMTPA capacity refinery and associated crude oil terminals at Paradip and a pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh.
At present, most of NRL’s crude oil requirement is sourced domestically and imports are undertaken when it is economically beneficial to utilise the additional refining capacity. Most of NRL’s refined fuel is marketed in the North-East region.
“We are a wellhead refinery plant. So far most of our crude is sourced domestically. And a very small percentage is imported through the Haldia port. That is the story today. But come 2025, when we have a new refinery in place, we intend to import a basket of crude oil from Paradip port, depending on economics, and pump it to Numaligarh. We are building a 1,640-km-long pipeline from Paradip to Numaligarh,” said Phukan.
The CMD said that under the refinery expansion programme, NRL refineries have been configured to process 49 varieties of crude oil. “There is a plan to take this number up further to 150 varieties, so that we have a wide array of options for crude oil import. We are at least two years away from the procurement of crude and we want to use this time to know the market. On the basis of commercial considerations, we will take a call on which countries to import crude oil from,” said the NRL MD.
“We are expecting our refinery expansion project to be mechanically complete and partly commissioned by September 2025 and by December 2025, we should be fully up and running,” the MD added. While NRL is already present in Bangladesh, it is planning to ramp up export to Bangladesh after the completion of the refinery expansion project. Phukan said that bilateral meetings took place between Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri and the Adviser to Bangladesh’s Prime Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs, Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on the matter. In addition, NRL will also be looking to expand its footprint in Myanmar and Nepal, said the MD.