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Gail step to pick up 10% in Haldia Petro

Calcutta, Sept. 2 (PTI): Gas Authority of India Ltd (Gail) has sent its letter of intent (LoI) to Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) for picking up a 10 per cent equity in the showcase project of Bengal.

Sources in HPL said the LoI stated that the gas major is willing to invest around Rs 200 crore in the petrochem project subject to due diligence which will be carried out shortly.

The letter from Gail will be a shot in the arm for HPL as sources felt investments in the state-of-the-art petrochemicals plant would be a profitable proposition as the company is doing well.

While the plant at Haldia was running at 100 per cent capacity, the company’s monthly sales reached a peak in March 2002 at Rs 303 crore, followed by July at Rs 292 crore. In August, it dipped to Rs 225 crore.

The main problem was that the company had to earmark around Rs 150 crore per month for naphtha purchase, while interest payments were gobbling up Rs 45 crore every month, thus leaving meagre operational profit.

Meanwhile, Purnendu Chatterjee, one of the promoters of the project, is now in Delhi to negotiate with the financial institutions to restructure the loans.

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