| Taking a lead
Calcutta, Sept. 3: The Bengal government is considering a proposal to expand Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL) so that it becomes the mother plant of the proposed chemical hub, which will come up over an area of 10,000 acre in the Nandigram area.
“Once the legal wrangles of the company are over, we will take a look at how to expand HPL. It should be our mother plant for the proposed chemical hub,” said Bengal industry secretary Sabyasachi Sen.
The government has called a review meeting of the chemical hub with Mott McDonald, the consultant appointed by the Centre for carrying out the feasibility report and risk assessment for the hub.
The Union ministry of chemicals and fertiliser has identified Dahej, Haldia and Vizag as the proposed spots for chemical hubs in the country.
The government also wants Indian Oil Corporation to set up a refinery at the hub. “Even The Chatterjee Group of Purnendu Chatterjee had shown interest in setting up a refinery at Haldia. TCG has the approval and they can come up with the refinery,” added Sen. Both IOC and TCG have shown interest in condensed refineries, which refine the by-products of crude to manufacture naphtha.
Sen said Calcutta Port Trust and Haldia Development Authority had already started acquiring land for the proposed chemical park.
Sen pointed out that a major problem with Haldia was that no big ships could enter the port due to inadequate draft.
The Tatas, who have evinced interest in setting up an automobile plant in Bengal, has carried out a study of the infrastructure and the tax structure in the state.
Though the state is yet to receive any concrete proposal from the Tatas, group chairman Ratan Tata recently said the group was weighing the option to set up an automobile plant in the state.