Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), one of India's premier oil refining and marketing companies, is getting into petrochemicals in a big way. Feasibility studies and other pre-project activities are underway to set up an ethylene cracker project at Bina Refinery in Madhya Pradesh and a polypropylene project at Kochi Refinery in Kerala, says Arun Kumar Singh, chairman and managing director.
The projects are likely to take around four years for completion once the environmental clearance is received and are expected to come on stream by 2026. "Once commissioned, these will increase the share of petrochemicals in the company’s product portfolio from around 1% currently to about 8%, and there is good margins in this business," he says.
The move is part of six strategic areas – petrochemicals, gas, renewables, new businesses, that is, consumer retailing, e-mobility and upstream – identified by the company to serve as pillars of future growth, as the world is going to have an energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
With the help of a leading consultant, a detailed roadmap is being laid out including critical milestones to be achieved at various stages in the journey. BPCL targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040 and is investing about ₹1.40 lakh crore for these energy transitions.
The renewable energy business unit, while undertaking commercial ventures in the renewables space, will be a major driver and contributor to the company’s green initiative. BPCL has planned to scale up its renewable energy portfolio from less than 50 megawatts today to 1 gigawatt by 2025 and 10 gigawatts by 2040, and has begun exploring various organic and inorganic opportunities in this direction.
The company is also entering into non-fuel business to offer consumables, durables and services by leveraging BPCL’s pan-India network of over 20,000 fuel stations and 6,200 plus LPG distributors. With initial focus on small towns and rural areas, the recently created business unit new businesses has developed a unique digitally enabled omni-channel business model to provide fuel and non-fuel offerings to the lowest strata of the Indian market, says the chairman.