New Delhi: Privatisation-bound Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has plans to invest over Rs 1 lakh crore over the next five years on clean fuel, raising its petrochemical production capacity, gas business, and augmenting marketing infrastructure, said Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Arun Kumar Singh on Monday. India's second-largest oil marketing company, which is set to be disinvested by the end of this financial year, plans to create a 1,000 MW portfolio of renewable power generation capacity and convert 7,000 of its 19,000 petrol pumps into energy stations.
The ambitious Rs 1-lakh-crore investment plan is aimed at preparing BPCL for a future where conventional fuels, brown fuels like gas and e-mobility will co-exist. The company has already announced its plan last year to increase focus on its petrochemical business, however, the new investment plan has lent it more momentum.
"In the years to come, BPCL has made aggressive investment plans. We shall be investing more than Rs 1 lakh crore at the group level majorly in enhancing petrochemical capacity and improving refining efficiencies (Rs 30,000 crore), gas proliferation ( Rs 20,000 crore), upstream oil and gas exploration and production (Rs 18,000 crore) and augmenting (fuel) marketing infrastructure (Rs 18,000 crore)," said the BPCL CMD.
"We will leverage our nationwide network fuel stations to support electric mobility, by converting around 7,000 conventional retail outlets into energy stations providing multiple fuelling options like petrol, diesel, flexi fuels, EV charging facility, CNG and eventually hydrogen in the medium to long term," said the CMD. EV charging facilities are in place in 44 BPCL retail outlets across major cities. The company has also started battery swapping for three-wheelers on a pilot basis in Kochi and Lucknow.
The PSU plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore in renewable energy. BPCL currently has a renewable power generation portfolio of 45 MW. The BPCL CMD said that the company is looking to have both solar and wind generation capacities in its portfolio and would look to use this electricity for production of green Hydrogen. "This would benefit the company in various ways — diversification, offsetting GHG emissions arising from fossil fuel portfolio. Renewable power can also help in enabling EVs and production of green hydrogen," said Singh.
BPCL is also planning to spend around Rs 7,000 crore on biofuels. It is also setting up an ethanol production unit at Bargarh, Odisha with a production capacity of 100 kilolitres per day. And it is also exploring the possibility to set up four more ethanol plants in deficit states with a capacity of 100 kl per day.
In the backdrop of the government's plan to increase the share of natural gas in India's energy mix from the current 6 percent to 15 percent by 2030, BPCL is planning to invest heavily in city gas networks and plans to set up 12 LNG fuel stations, said Singh. BPCL and its joint ventures have 1,393 CNG stations. "Our presence in CNG stations is going to grow manifold in the next few years," said the CMD.
Out of the planned upstream investment of Rs 18,000 crore, Rs 16,000 crore would go to BPCL's share in a giant LNG project in Mozambique.
Commenting on the company's plans to enhance petrochemical production, Singh said, "With the commissioning of two units in Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi refinery in February 2021, we have joined the leaders in production of niche petrochemicals. We will increase our presence in petrochemical space, integrating with our refining activity to diversify and hedge."
BPCL owns and operates three refineries at Mumbai, Kochi in Kerala and Bina in Madhya Pradesh. "The planned capex will be funded through a mix of internal resources and borrowings," said BPCL Director (Finance) VRK Gupta said.