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India: Plant Engineering HPCL Postpones 3 Billion Dollar Refinery Expansion in India

Author / Editor: Reuters / Ahlam Rais

The billion dollar expansion plan of HPCL’s refinery in Vizag, India has been delayed to November owing to labour shortage in the background of Covid-19 and the beginning of the monsoon season.

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Post the expansion, HPCL will nearly double the capacity of its Vizag plant to 300,000 barrels per day (Image: Illustration purpose only)
Post the expansion, HPCL will nearly double the capacity of its Vizag plant to 300,000 barrels per day (Image: Illustration purpose only)
(Source: Deposit)

New Delhi/India – Hindustan Petroleum Corp has pushed back the completion of a billion-dollar expansion at its southeastern Vizag refinery to at least October-November due to a labour shortage and the onset of monsoon, a company source said.

The state-run refiner had initially planned to complete the 2.77 billion dollar expansion which will nearly double the capacity of its coastal plant to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd), in July.

Many workers have returned to their hometowns due to the nationwide lockdowns to curb the spread of coronavirus, while the onset of monsoon has made it difficult to carry out construction work, the source told Reuters.

“Because of the lockdown we could not carry out the planned pre-monsoon work. We lost that window,” the source said, asking not to be named due to sensitivity of the issue.

“We have not yet done our assessment but it seems completion of the project would be delayed to at least October-November.”

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HPCL did not respond to a Reuters’ request seeking comments.

India has significantly eased the lockdown but a return to pre-Covid activity will take some time as inter-state transportation remain restricted and the virus cases are still rising.

Construction and mechanical work is usually held off during monsoon as a safety precaution, the source said. The four-month Indian monsoon season starts from June.

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