Iran keen to participate in CPCL expansion: IOC Chairman

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New Delhi, Jan 2: Iran is keen to invest in the Rs 35,700-crore expansion of Chennai refinery irrespective of economic sanctions imposed by the US against the Persian Gulf nation, IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said Wednesday.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) plans to pull down the 1 million tonnes per year Nagapattinam refinery of its subsidiary, Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd (CPCL) and build a brand new 9 million tonnes unit in next 5-6 years.
National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), which holds 15.4 per cent stake in CPCL, is keen to participate in the expansion project, Singh told reporters here.
“They have said they want to participate and I think they should be able to invest,” he said.
After the US reimposed full economic sanctions against Iran beginning November 5, 2018, India is paying its third-largest crude oil supplier in rupees. These rupee payments are made into a UCO Bank account of NIOC.
The government has allowed NIOC to use the money it gets in the UCO Bank account for paying for commodities Iran buys from India as well as for the direct investment in Indian projects.
Naftiran Intertrade, the Swiss subsidiary of NIOC, holds a 15.4 per cent stake in CPCL. IOC holds 51.89 per cent stake in CPCL.
The expansion was to originally cost to Rs 27,460 crore but is now estimated to cost Rs 35,698 crore.
Officials said, CPCL plans to achieve financial closure of the refinery expansion in 2019. It also plans to build a petrochemicals plant of about 475,000 tonnes per annum capacity. Detailed feasibility report for the expansion project is expected to be completed by June.