The rise in consumption has been recorded in the wake of easing of lockdown restrictions across the country
Indian Oil refineries are geared to operate at about 90 percent of their capacities this month, as products demand in the market increases
New Delhi: The crude oil throughput of Indian Oil refineries has crossed 80 percent, with consumption of all petroleum products put together almost doubling in the month of May as compared to April levels. The rise in consumption has been recorded in the wake of easing of lockdown restrictions across the country, especially in green and orange zones. “Indian Oil has been able to gradually raise the throughput of its refineries from about 55 percent of rated capacity in the beginning of May ’20 to about 78 percent by the month-end, and 83 percent as on date. Capacity utilisation of the refineries had dropped to almost 39 percent in the beginning of April’ 20,” an official statement said on Wednesday.
With Guwahati Refinery coming online after maintenance shutdown, Indian Oil refineries are geared to operate at about 90 percent of their capacities this month, as products demand in the market increases, together with strategic product exports.
Growth in petrol demand higher than diesel in May
While the consumption of all petroleum products put together almost doubled in May, compared to April levels, the growth of petrol was higher at about 70 percent and diesel at 59 percent. Compared to May 2019, or the early months of the current year prior to the lockdown, the growth percentage has still to catch up by 24 percent to 26 percent for all products. However, the case of LPG is different. With Indian Oil rolling out about 25 lakh cylinder refills a day, the average backlog is less than a day.
Along with growing consumption of white oils, petrol and diesel (except ATF, which is still lagging at about 24 percent of normal level), the demand for black oils and specialty products like fuel oil, bitumen, petcoke, and sulphur has also shown a marked improvement, facilitating the increase of refineries throughput at Indian Oil.
‘Work on 250 major projects resumed’
With the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions, several downstream industries in the petrochemicals sector have resumed operations from late April and product evacuation from refinery stocks has increased gradually. With increase in demand, Indian Oil’s Naphtha Cracker at Panipat is now operating at full capacity, along with downstream units for production of polypropylene, HDPE, LLDPE and MEG. The polypropylene plant at Paradip Refinery has also gone online, while the PX/PTA at Panipat and the LAB unit at Koyali Refinery continued to operate during the lockdown.
Indian Oil is on track to spend the approved capital expenditure of Rs 26,143 crore for 2020-21. “Work on almost 250 major projects has restarted on ground. Major refinery projects on which work has resumed include capacity expansion at Barauni, including petrochemicals component; ethylene glycol project at Paradip; expansion of naphtha cracker at Panipat; and IndMax unit at Bongaigaon. Work has also resumed on major pipeline projects, including the Paradip-Hyderabad products pipeline; augmentation of Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline and its extension to Patna and Muzaffarpur; and the Ennore-Tiruvallur-Bangalore-Pondicherry-Nagapattinam-Madurai-Tuticorin R-LNG pipeline. Pipeline laying and other activities under city gas distribution resumed in 11 Geographical Areas. Work has also restarted on other projects like grassroots LPG bottling plants, upcountry terminals/depots and additional facilities/tankage at existing bulk storage locations,” the statement said.