BPCL likely to increase naphtha exports from Kochi in 2017

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-12-30 15:00:00 – Kochi

India’s state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd,with the completion of expansion works at its Kochi refinery to 15 million mt/year from 9.5 million mt/year. The expansion is expected to increase BPCL’s naphtha production by 10%-15% , which would enable the refiner to restore monthly exports from Kochi on the Indian southwest coast, to two cargoes. BPCL is set to boost its naphtha exports next year, industry sources said.

But the increase in exports from Kochi would only last for around a year, as naphtha would be diverted as feedstock into BPCL’s new petrochemical project, the source said.

The propylene derivatives petrochemical project in Kochi is expected to be completed around the end of next year, and is due for commissioning around the first-quarter of 2018, industry sources said.

It will have the capacity to produce 47,000 mt/year of acrylic acid, 92,000 mt/year of oxo-alcohols and 190,000 mt/year of acrylates and will require 250,000 mt/year of propylene to produce 329,000 mt/year of petrochemicals, S&P Global Platts reported.

Shipping fixtures showed that BPCL shipped a total 972,453 mt of naphtha between January and October, or nearly 20% of the total 4.911 million mt exported by Indian refiners.

Exports from Kochi were irregular, the fixtures showed. BPCL moved a 35,000-mt naphtha cargo from Kochi in January and two cargoes from Mumbai; one parcel in February from Mumbai; two cargoes from Kochi and two from Mumbai in March; one lot from Mumbai in April; one cargo each from Mumbai and Kochi in May; one cargo each in June; two shipments from Mumbai and one from Kochi in July; three lots from Mumbai and one from Kochi in August and two parcels from Mumbai and one from Kochi in September.

There was a jump in BPCL'S exports in October -- five cargoes totaling 176,614 mt from Mumbai and two lots totaling 66,660 mt from Kochi. Sources said this was due to ongoing upgrading works at the Mumbai refinery to produce auto-fuels complying with Euro-IV/Euro-V specifications.

During the project works at the Mumbai plant, which is expected to last through December and January, BPCL has been using lighter crude grades which yield more naphtha.

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