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IOC ready for hub survey

Calcutta, Jan. 5: The Indian Oil Corporation is ready to start a preliminary feasibility study for the petroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals investment region at Nayachar as soon as the government gives the company a letter identifying the island as its chosen site.

The IOC wants to connect its existing project in Haldia with its Nayachar project to create an integrated petroleum complex.

Its chairman, Sarthak Behuria, had a closed-door meeting with chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, industries secretary Sabyasachi Sen and chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb in the city today.

“The IOC is ready to start the preliminary study as soon as we give it a formal letter identifying Nayachar as the site for the hub. We have already given them a verbal confirmation. They (IOC) are our anchor investors and theirs would be the mother plant,” Sen said after the meeting.

The Indonesia-based Salim Group, which will develop Nayachar as the site for the chemical hub, has started its soil tests there. Sen said and the government would put the IOC in touch with the Salim Group. “The key developer and the anchor investor should meet,” he said.

The IOC also has other expansion plans in the pipeline.

The company had asked for an additional 84 acres to expand the capacity of its Haldia refinery from 6 million to 7.5 million tonnes.

The Union fertiliser ministry, which owned the land, has cleared the proposal. The expansion now awaits the Calcutta Port Trust’s clearance.

The IOC also wants to build a Rs 5,000-crore parazylene plant that will provide raw material to the Mitsubishi Chemicals plant in the port town.

State sources said they expected central clearance for the new plant soon.

Sen said Nayachar had the 100sqkm required for a petro region’s processing area. “It’s the processing area where all the action will take place. The non-processing area can be at a distance.”

The IOC has also expressed interest in constructing pipelines to deliver aviation fuel from Budge Budge, South 24-Parganas, instead of relying on tankers.

The company has a similar system in Chennai and Bangalore. The state has promised to co-operate on the plan.

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