Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan speaking at the inaugural session of 21st Refinery Tecnology Meet in Visakhapatnam on Thursday
Visakhapatnam: India will augment its refining capacity to 600 million metric tonnes from the present 230 million metric tonnes to meet fast-growing demand for energy, according to Union minister of state for oil and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
Addressing inaugural session of 21st Refinery Technology Meet, jointly hosted by Centre for High Technology and HPCL, here on Thursday, Pradhan said his ministry has been emphasising on innovation and strengthening R&D to produce quality product. He said India being the third largest consumer of oil has been in the centre of world’s oil economy.
Stating that Prime Minster Narendra Modi wanted 10 per cent cut in the imports by 2022, the minister said three-fourth of the demand would be met by 2040. However, he confessed that there has been gap between, innovation, industry and policy which has been hampering the growth.
“But we will forge ahead. India not only will increase its production for domestic consumption but also meet the requirement of neighbours Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka,” he said and added that India would explore for joint ventures with Malaysian and Thailand oil companies.
Laying greater emphasis on research and development, the minister said India would meet world standards and move from BS 4 to BS 6 oil by 2020. He said the government spent $14 billion for green technology to meet the world standards. Secretary of the ministry, KD Tripathy in his keynote address said in order to achieve sustainable economic growth, India need to have sustainable energy sector.
He said the hydro carbon industry has been facing challenges in the wake of focus on renewable energy. “The cost of solar and wind energy is coming down and hence the oil industry has to stress on clean and affordable energy,” he opined.
Chairman and managing director of HPCL MK Surana said the world has been looking for alternative energy and petroleum industry has to struggle for survival.
Joint secretary Sandeep Poundrik said India has to increase the production of petro-chemicals as the expenditure on imports rose to Rs 50,000 crore in 2015-2016 from Rs 10,000 crore in 2007.
The minister later presented awards to outstanding personalities of the oil companies.