Report by Amarnath Parida; Paradip: Oil Refinery project of IOCL which already delayed by about twelve years , seems to be on the verge of yet another twelve months delay because uncertainty shrouds of this mega project. Meanwhile, Union Minister for chemical and fertilizer Mr. Srikant Jena is coming to Paradip on Tuesday to review IOCL projects and Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd.
This IOCL refinery project at Paradip which was planned to be operational from November 2012 is likely to be deferred for another one year for different reasons. The state government had signed a MoU with IOC on February 16, 2004 for setting up the refinery with a capacity of 9 MTPA. However, the capacity of the proposed refinery was later enhanced to 15 MTPA with an investment of Rs 45,000 crore.
The company had also proposed a petro-chemical complex along with the refinery project. The board of directors, later on, reduced the project cost to Rs 29,777 crore citing global meltdown. The commissioning of this refinery project may be delayed.
Slated to be on stream on November 2012, commissioning of the 15-million-tonne refinery is running “another twelve months,” behind the schedule, according to sources. Senor IOC officials, however, expressed that about 60 percentage of construction work has been completed so far while total progress of the work is 82 percentages for all around development so it would take another one year to complete rest 28 percentages of work.
However, when asked, the authority of IOCL, Paradip on condition of anonymity due to restriction of management has confessed ‘the project may likely to take another one year for its commissioning so that Union Minister for chemical and fertilizer Mr. Jena is coming to Paradip on Tuesday to review IOCL projects . We have taken all elaborate arrangements to success his visit’. - He added
While detailed reasons behind the delay are not available, sources point out labour related issues, deterioration of law and order situation, political interference, unionization and delay in commissioning of the captive power plant and laying water pipelines as major hurdles to complete the project on time.
“There are some other reasons to delay especially in completion of peripheral projects. However, it is still possible to commission the refinery on time,” an official said, adding that the progress of the work during an otherwise “difficult” rainy season would hold the key to timely project completion. Located at coastal areas of Paradip receives heavy rainfall, which is generally not conducive for carrying out construction work.
The uncertainty of the Paradip refinery project will affect the setting up of the Petrochemical and Petroleum Investment Region (PCPIR) as the refinery is in its anchor project. In 2000, the then prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, laid the foundation stone for the project.