Haldia Base Oil Expansion Due by December


Indian Oil Corp. Ltd.’s expansion of its Haldia base oil plant is on track to be completed by the end of this year – a year later than originally scheduled, the company told Lube Report this week.

The company also updated schedules for construction of two other new base oil plants that it is also building in India. A plant being built at its fuels refinery in Gujarat, India, is scheduled to begin commissioning in December of 2024, still within the company’s previously stated window to be completed.

Another plant being added to its refinery in Panipat, India, is due to be commissioned beginning in December of 2026, two years later than the original target.

The company did not provide an explanation for the timeline adjustments, but numerous construction projects around the industry have been delayed the past couple years, hampered by supply chain disruptions and general slowdowns in business operations triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The base oil plant in Haldia currently has capacity to make 225,000 metric tons per year of API Group II base oils, according to Lubes’n’Greases Base Stock Plant Data, and the expansion will add 255,000 t/y of mostly Group III oils. The Gujarat plant has been designed with capacity to make 235,000 t/y of Group II and III oils, while officials have said the Panipat plant will make 526,000 t/y of all or mostly Group III.

Together the projects constitute the bulk of a recent surge in base oil supply investments in India. Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd., another of the country’s petroleum public sector undertakings, completed a 150,000 t/y expansion of its Mumbai base oil plant in mid-2022. The plant now has capacity to make 450,000 t/y of Group II oils.

India is the world’s third-biggest lubricant market and has long big one of the globe’s biggest base oil importers, but that dependency should be greatly eased once these projects join the market. The country’s total capacity to make mineral base oils was 1.2 million t/y before these four projects. Once they are completed that number will have nearly doubled to 2.4 million t/y.

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