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Retail plan in last lap

Calcutta, May 22: Essar Oil’s fuel-retailing venture will kick off with a consignment of imported petroleum expected to arrive in Mumbai and Mundra soon.

A senior company executive said a ship carrying 15,800 tonnes of refined petroleum from West Asia will dock in Mumbai within days, and Mundra in Gujarat a little later.

“Receiving the first batch of imports will be a great moment for us. The sale of these products in the domestic market will shape our import strategy in future,” he said.

Talks have been opened with foreign companies, especially those in the Gulf, to procure petro products that will initially be sold to bulk customers in western India.

The Essar Oil official said “quite a few” industrial customers in the western region have shown interest. “Many small and medium industrial units want to buy petroleum products from us, raising expectations that all the oil we import will be sold,” he added.

The official said the first of the 200 petrol pumps planned in the early stages should be up and running in the next three months.

The company, setting up a 10.5-million-tonne refinery at Vadinar, near Jamnagar, in Gujarat, has already selected plots along highways in the western region where its fuel pumps would come up.

“Our focus is on producing middle distillates like superior kerosene oil and high-speed diesel. These account for 60 per cent of domestic demand,” the official said.

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