- ‘The timeline (of BPCL disinvestment) is dependent on successful outcome of different stages of transaction’
- ‘Keeping into consideration the interests of LPG consumers of BPCL, there are appropriate provisions for continuity (of subsidy)’
New Delhi: On being asked about the status of BPCL disinvestment in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad said that Expressions of Interest (EOIs) have been received and the process is in due diligence stage. Commenting on the timeline for the disinvestment process, the minister said, “The shortlisted bidders have been allowed to conduct due diligence. The timeline is dependent on successful outcome of different stages of transaction.” The question was raised by Congress MP Pradyut Bordoloi.
In response to a question on whether LPG subsidies available for domestic users will be affected by the disinvestment of BPCL, the minister said, “Keeping into consideration the interests of LPG consumers of BPCL, there are appropriate provisions for continuity.”
BPCL Kochi petchem complex
Bordoloi also asked the minister to list down the reasons for inaugurating a petrochemical complex in Kochi worth Rs 6,000 crore to BPCL after the government announced its intention to disinvest it. In response, the minister said that the petrochemical complex was approved by BPCL’s Board of Directors in 2014 and the mechanical completion of its three units was achieved in June-August 2019. “The BPCL Board had approved the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project at Kochi Refinery on 3.12.2014 and the mechanical completion of its three units was achieved during June-August 2019 and subsequently the units came on stream and project was dedicated. Since BPCL is being divested on a ‘going concern’ basis, the business activities of the BPCL will continue after privatisation,” said Dr Karad.
“The Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) is a ‘Make in India’ initiative, which has been envisaged for production of niche Propylene derivatives viz. Acrylic Acid, Oxo Alcohol and Acrylates, using the polymer-grade propylene as the primary feedstock. These feedstocks, which were hitherto mostly imported into the country, are now being produced from the Petro-FCCU of Kochi Refinery,” the minister added.
The government has exuded optimism about wrapping up BPCL disinvestment by the end of FY22. The Centre is in the process of disinvesting its 52.98 percent stake in BPCL. On April 10, the government opened BPCL’s data room for access to prospective bidders. Three entities — Vedanta, private equity firms Apollo Global and I Squared Capital’s arm Think Gas — have thrown their hats in the ring to acquire the government’s stake and management control in BPCL.
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