Pradhan positive on petroleum

Dharmendra Pradhan (extreme left) at the petroleum meet in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday expressed hope about the future of Indian refining industry.

Inaugurating the 22nd Refinery Technology and Petrochemicals Meet (RPTM), jointly organised by the Centre for High Technology and Indian Oil Corporation Limited under the aegis of the Union ministry of petroleum and natural gas, Pradhan called upon all public and private sector oil and gas companies in the country to add at least 200 million tonnes of refining capacity in the next two decades to maintain India's leadership position as the hub of Asian refining and product export.

"Integrated refinery-petrochemical complexes should be the future for deriving maximum benefits for the industry," he said. The theme of the meet is "Emerging Trends in Downstream Hydrocarbon Sector".

Underlining the importance of innovation and research and development in petroleum sector, Pradhan stressed on providing clean, affordable energy to a large number of people. "The fact that the meet is being organised in Odisha will give an impetus to the state which is being developed as the energy gateway to east India," he said, adding that his ministry was now focusing on a scheme called "Purvoday- a Prosperous East for a New India".

Pradhan also released the RPTM Compendium and "Report on Enhancing Refining Capacity by 2040" that gives a direction to the oil and gas industry to move forward. He also inaugurated a poster display exhibition showcasing the advances being made in the refining and petrochemicals sector by Indian and foreign companies.

Ambassador of Japan Kenji Hiramatsu, in his special address, expressed his happiness at the strong ties between India and Japan and offered technological support to Indian industries. He expressed confidence that steered by the top leadership of the two countries, the bilateral ties between India and Japan will be taken forward in the field of energy co-operation as well, especially in the field of liquefied natural gas.

Delivering the keynote address, central petroleum and natural gas secretary K.D. Tripathi said that the petrochemicals sector in India was poised for a quantum jump in keeping with the rapid economic growth of the country and that there existed tremendous opportunities for India to emerge as the demand centre of energy. Low carbon, sustainable and affordable energy will be the demand for the future, he added.


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