NEW DELHI: India's biggest oil firm IOC today said it plans to invest about Rs 1.43 lakh crore to nearly double its oil refining capacity to 150 million tonnes and boost petrochemical production by 2030.

While Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is expanding refining capacity to meet fuel demand, which is expected to nearly double by 2040, it does not want to remain "a refining company alone and is thus venturing into petrochemicals and alternative fuels as well," company's Director (Refineries) B V Rama Gopal told reporters here.

The company currently owns and operates 11 out of the country's 23 refineries. Its refineries have a total capacity of 80.7 million tonnes per annum.

IOC is investing Rs 16,628 crore in upgrading its refineries to produce Euro-VI emission norm compliant petrol and diesel as against Euro-IV fuel being produced now. This investment cycle would be completed by 2020, he said.

Besides, the company is investing Rs 15,600 crore in expansion of petrochemical projects and another Rs 74,600 crore in raising the capacity of its existing refineries.

He said another Rs 36,500 crore worth of projects are in pipeline but haven't been approved by the company board as yet. These include expansion of its recently-commissioned 15-MTPA Paradip refinery in Odisha to 18 MTPA as also the expansion of Bongaigaon unit.

India's current refining capacity of 247.6 MTPA exceeds consumption but with demand growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 3.5-4%, it will need to add more capacity to meet the rising fuel needs. While the Energy Information Agency of US projects India's demand to reach 434 MT by 2040 from 194 MT currently, IEA puts the number between 450 and 492 MT.

IOC plans to raise the capacity of its Panipat refinery in Haryana to 25 MTPA from current 15 MTPA, while Koyali refinery in Gujarat would be expanded to 18 MTPA from 13.7 MTPA. While 3 MT will be added in IOC's Barauni refinery in Bihar, a 1.2-MTPA capacity addition is planned for Uttar Pradesh's Mathura refinery to take its capacity to 9.2 MTPA.

The official said IOC is also looking at adding a 9 MTPA capacity to its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum (CPCL).

He said IOC, BPCL, and HPCL are together setting up a new 60 MPTA refinery on the west coast in Maharashtra.

Talking of growth drivers, he said IOC is setting up a new unit at its Panipat refinery to manufacture ethanol from refinery off-gases. Ethanol so produced will be used for blending in petrol.
India is targeting blending of up to 10 per cent ethanol in petrol to cut reliance on imports to meet oil needs.
Also, a plant to convert agri-stubble into ethanol is being set up.
On alternate energy plans, he said the company plans to take solar power generation capacity to 260 MW by 2020 from current 188 MW.
Read more: IOC to invest Rs 1.4 lakh crore to double...

NEW DELHI: Various changes proposed in the Union Budget 2018-19 (presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1), including reduced import duties on select items and reintroduction of tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG), come into effect from April 1, 2018 (Sunday). Here are some of the important decisions taken in this year's budget that come into effect from Sunday:

LTCG on equities

The Union Budget 2018 proposed 10 per cent tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) over Rs 1 lakh. Till now, any long-term gains made on equity shares or any equity mutual fund units were exempt from tax. The government, however, extended indexation benefit for computing tax liability on sale of shares listed after January 31.

The 2018 Budget had after a gap of 14 years reintroduced 10 per cent tax on LTCG.

Standard deduction

There has been no change in the Income Tax slabs this year but for salaried employees, a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 is introduced by the government in lieu of transport and medical reimbursements.

Budget 2018 has also increased the cess on incomes from 3 per cent to 4 per cent, which can increase your tax bill.

Heyday for grey days (senior citizens)

The exemption limit on income from interest raised by five times to Rs 50,000 per year. No (tax deduction at source) TDS will be deducted from the interest income of senior citizens. The limit of deduction for health insurance premium and medical expenditure also increased to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000 under Section 80D. This additional deduction of Rs 20,000 will help a taxpayer save up to Rs 6,000 per annum.

For senior and very senior citizens, the tax deduction for critical illness will be Rs 1 lakh from April 1, as against the existing limit of Rs 60,000 for senior citizens and Rs 80,000 for very senior citizens.

Corporate tax

Corporate tax on businesses with up to Rs 250 crore turnover has been reduced to 25 per cent from 30 per cent.

List of imported items that will become expensive or cheaper from April 1:


* Completely knocked down (CKD): Custom duty increased from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.
* Completely build units (CBU): Customs duty increased to 25 per cent from 20 per cent earlier.
* Truck and bus radial tyres: Duty increased to 15 per cent as against 10 per cent earlier.
* Imported mobile handsets: Customs duty increased from 15 per cent to 20 per cent; mobile parts and accessories will attract duty of 15 per cent.
* Imported LCD/ LED/ OLED TV panels and other parts of TVs: Customs duty of 15 per cent levied.
* Perfumes, toilet water and imported beauty and make up preparations: Customs duty of 20 per cent as against 10 per cent earlier.
* Wrist/pocket/smart watches/wearable devices and sunglasses: Custom duty have been doubled to 20 per cent.
* Gemstones and diamonds: Custome Duty increased to 5 per cent from 2.5 per cent earlier.
* Duty on imported footwear and silk fabrics has also been doubled to 20 per cent.
* Customs duty on imported fruit juices has been hiked by up to 40 per cent.
* Imported cranberry juice will now attract customs duty of 50 per cent from 10 per cent earlier.
* Duty on orange fruit juice has gone up from 30 per cent to 35 per cent.
* Duty on other fruit and vegetables juice have been increased to 50 per cent from 30 per cent earlier.
* Crude edible vegetable oils like olive oil, ground nut oil: Custom duty hiked to 30 per cent from 12.5 per cent earlier.
* Refined edible vegetable oils including oil, ground nut oil: Custom duty hiked to 35 per cent from 20 per cent earlier.
* Imported gold items, including gold plated with platinum: Surcharge of 3 per cent of the aggregate duties of customs.

* Customs duty on imported raw cashew nuts has been slashed from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent
* Solar tempered glass or solar tempered glass for manufacture of solar cells/panels/modules reduced to nil duty from 5 per cent earlier.
* Customs duty on raw materials, parts and accessories of cochlear implants has been reduced to nil from 2.5 per cent earlier.
Apart from these, people need to shell out more for driving on the national highways from April 1. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has revised its toll rates by 5 to 7 per cent. As a result, prices of essential commodities are also likely to shoot up, transporters have said.
Read more: Budget 2018 proposals to be implemented from...

gail, lng, lng vessel, us lng vessel, Dabhol terminal, gas, oil & gas, power plant, LNG exports The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from the US arrived at the Dabhol terminal of state-run gas major Gail.

The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from the US arrived at the Dabhol terminal of state-run gas major Gail here today. Receiving the first-ever shipment of 1.2 lakh tonne LNG under the long-term contract of 20 years, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan also announced a Rs 700-crore investment by the newly-created Gail arm Konkan LNG to complete an under-construction breakwater facility, that on completion will make the terminal an all-weather facility.

Currently due to lack of the breakwater the Dabhol terminal, created in FY07 by the original Dabhol power plant promoter Enron Corporation which went bankrupt and abandoned the 1,200-mw power plant, can operate only eight months. “We’ve finalised the tender for the breakwater that will be floated very soon and hope to begin work before the monsoons at the earliest or soon after the monsoons,” Pradhan told reporters. A senior Gail official told PTI that the company will be getting 22-24 shipments per annum till the breakwater is built.

Once that is done we will be handling 80-90 ships a year. Gail signed two, 20-year LNG supply agreements potentially worth USD 32 billion for LNG exports from the Dominion Cove Point project in Maryland and the Sabine Pass project in Louisiana in 2011 and 2013 respectively, US Consulate, Mumbai said in a statement. The minister claimed that the country could negotiate “a very competitive price from the US which offers one of the best prices LNG,” without disclosing the average price of the maiden shipment.

“Pricing is a commercial matter that cannot be publicly discussed. All I can assure you is that we have managed one of the best prices which should help the end-consumers,” the minister said, adding Dabhol terminal will serve industrial and residential customers in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat. He also said the beginning of the oil and gas shipments from the US will boost Indo-US trade and has the potential to raise it by USD 2-3 billion annually, considering massive spike in energy demand, making the country third largest in the world.

“Once this pipeline delivery begins, this will connect the state-run gas major’s Kochi-Kuttanad- Mangalore-Bengaluru pipeline,” the Gail official said. Describing the arrival of the first shipment and the conclusion of the long-term contract with the US-based Cheniere Inc as “a new beginning in the Indo-US energy partnership and trade,” Pradhan said LNG supplies is linked to the Henry Hub index contract and also “will help achieve the vision of moving towards a gas-based economy.”

Gail’s first charter-hired vessel MV Meridian Spirit arrived after sailing 24 days. Gail chairman BC Tripathi said in the first year of the 20-year contract that was inked in 2011, Gail hopes to take in 5.8 million tonne. The US vessel that called on today is the 78th berthing at the Dabhol terminal since it was commissioned in 2013. “We will have an optimum portfolio mix of LNG indexed to the Henry Hub index and crude oil and customers will benefit from such a good price blend,” Tripathi said.

“Gail is one of the early movers to contract US LNG and has 5.8 million tonne per annum in its portfolio over the life of the long-term contract. We will be receiving around 90 cargoes per annum from the Sabine Pass and Cove Point LNG terminals,” Tripathi said, adding the terminal will now be handled by the just-formed subsidiary Konkan LNG after demerging it from Ratnagiri Gas & Power, which is a three-way joint venture between Gail, NTPC and Maharashtra SEB. Indo-US trade has been rising 11.4 per cent on average since 2000 when it was USD 20 billion to over USD 126.1 billion in 2017.

“The United States continues to partner with India across the broad range of energy collaboration, whether through traditional energy sources like oil—the first crude oil shipment from the US to India arrived in October 2017 in Odisha—or LNG, or through other sources like coal and renewable energy,” US Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs Patrick Santillo was quoted as saying in a statement. “This shipment really sets the stage for the upcoming visit of US energy secretary Rick Perry for attending the US-India Strategic Partnership,” Santillo said.

Read more: Gail’s first US LNG vessel reaches Dabhol...

atria power, i bank, dollar bond issue Bengaluru-based renewable energy firm Atria Power is in talks with investment bankers to explore the possibility of a dollar bond issue, sources aware of the matter told FE. (Reuters)

Bengaluru-based renewable energy firm Atria Power is in talks with investment bankers to explore the possibility of a dollar bond issue, sources aware of the matter told FE. Bankers said the company is in early stages of talks to consider a dollar bond issue, which on execution, will be the debut bond offering by the company in the overseas market. “The firm could look at a possible $300 million issue with a tenure of five years. The issue is likely to be a high-yield one,” said a banker. Atria Power provides power solutions across mini-hydro power, wind, solar and hybrid projects. As part of its future plans, the firm plans to develop 1000 MW of projects with an investment of Rs 3,000 crore.

In the mini-hydro segment, the firm has projects in Shimsha, Shivanasamudram, and Krishna Raja Sagara. In the wind power segment, the company has projects in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Microsoft Corp recently announced the completion of its first renewable energy deal in Karnataka, and the agreement will see Microsoft purchase 3 MW of solar-powered electricity from Atria Power to help power its new office building in Bangalore.  “This will meet 80% of the projected electricity needs at the new facility,” Microsoft said in a release.

The year 2018 has not seen many high-yield issuances from India. Tata Steel’s ABJA Investment Co had raised $1.3 billion in January through a high-yield issuance. Recently, some of the firms that were considering an issue have either delayed their issues or are considering a shift to the syndicated loan market, according to sources. “This is because the market has remained non-conducive over the last few weeks. Investors’ demand for yield seems to be higher than the issuers’ expectations,” a banker said.

FE had earlier reported that Bangalore International Airport, the operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, is believed to be in talks with investment bankers to explore the possibilities of tapping the dollar bond market. The firm is likely to look at an issue size of $300-500 million, a banker had said. So far in calendar 2018, Indian firms and banks have raised over $4 billion through bond issuances in the overseas market.

Read more: Atria Power in discussion with i-banks for...

Gujarat, solar tariff, solar tariff auction The reverse auctions for 500 MW of solar power held by the Gujarat government on Wednesday saw a tariff of Rs 2.98/unit, significantly up from the lowest solar tariff ever achieved — Rs 2.44/unit in the country (at Bhadla in Rajasthan) in May last year.

The reverse auctions for 500 MW of solar power held by the Gujarat government on Wednesday saw a tariff of Rs 2.98/unit, significantly up from the lowest solar tariff ever achieved — Rs 2.44/unit in the country (at Bhadla in Rajasthan) in May last year. Gujarat’s own auctions in September 2017 saw a tariff of Rs 2.65/unit. The latest bidding took place amid uncertainties related to the proposed 70% safeguard duty on imported cells and panels.
According to sources in the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam, Ahmedabad-based Kalthia Engineering secured 50 MW solar development project by quoting the lowest bid.

State-owned Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSEC) quoted the second lowest tariff of Rs 3/unit, winning 150 MW. ACME and Azure won 100 MW and 200 MW, respectively, by quoting Rs 3.06/unit each. Gujarat had also provided an additional 500 MW under the ‘greenshoe option’, where it can allocate the capacity to companies if they agree to match the lowest tariff — Rs 2.98/unit — achieved in the first auction.

The greenshoe option is learnt to be available only to companies who do not make it to the final list of bidders in the first auction. Gujarat is one of the few states over the last two or three years, where actual payment cycle by the distribution utilities to renewable power producers, is within the prescribed timelines. The state has one of the best solar radiation-receiving areas in the country, experts noted.

Read more: Gujarat discovers solar tariff of Rs 2.98/unit...

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