Visakhapatnam to emerge as India’s petroleum hub

Visakhapatnam to emerge as India’s petroleum hub

The coastal Andhra city of Visakhapatnam will soon emerge as the petroleum hub in the country with massive investments being made in the sector in the coming years, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas DharmendraPradhan said yesterday.

A petrochemical complex would be set up in the port city with an investment of Rs 32,000 crore by public sector companies Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), the minister said after attending a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Vangali village near Visakhapatnam. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation for the Institute which will be the country’s fourth university offering specialised courses in petroleum engineering.

Pointing out how the Andhra coastal corridor, stretching from Visakhapatnam to Kakinada, has the potential to emerge as a major petrochemical hub, Pradhan announced that the capacity of HPCL refinery in Visakhapatnam would be enhanced from the present 8 million tonnes to 15 million tonnes, at an investment of Rs 21,000 crore. “The total investment for all these projects inn AP would be of the order of Rs 62,000 crore in the next few years,” the minister said.

About Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 70,000 crore would be invested by both the public sector and private sector companies in the Krishna-Godavari basin in the state for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas. “I have no doubt the state would emerge as a petroleum hub in future. Therefore, there is a need for skilled personnel on a large scale in the sector. The IIPE here will serve the purpose. The campus will be ready in a few years. Already, the IIPE is functioning in a temporary facility in Andhra University,” he said.

The sprawling IIPE campus, spread over 200 acres, would be completed in five years with a total investment of Rs 800 crore. Till then, the institute will function from a temporary facility in the Andhra University campus in Visakhapatnam. The IIPE will have an intake of 60 students in B.Tech and 18 in M.Tech during the first year and it will mentored by Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur.

The cost of establishing IIPE and the skill development center will be borne by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and will be backed both financially and academically by oil majors such as HPCL, IOCL, ONGC, GAIL, OIL, OIDB, BPCL and Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

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