Kuwait invites ONGC, IOC, EIL to invest

New Delhi: India on Monday offered Kuwait a stake in state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd’s (ONGC) Rs.21,396-crore petrochemical plant at Dahej in Gujarat and in Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOC)’s proposed chemical unit at Paradip as it looks to strength ties with the oil rich nation.
Petroleum minister M. Veerappa Moily renewed the offer of a stake in the mega petrochemical plants being built on the west and east coast to visiting Kuwati minister for Al-Diwan Al-Amiri Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, officials said.
The visiting minister, the eldest son of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of Kuwait, invited officials to visit Kuwait to discuss the offer threadbare.
ONGC is keen to get an overseas firm that can either bring in technology or marketing support for its Dahej plant that will be built by the year end.
ONGC holds 26% stake in ONGC Petro Additions Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed for setting up the chemical complex at the Dahej special economic zone (SEZ). Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. Ltd holds a 5% stake and state-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd has 15.5%. The remaining 53.5% equity valued at Rs.3,434.05 crore is yet to be tied up.
Also offered was a stake in a petrochemical plant ONGC is building at Mangalore and Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd’s proposed chemical unit at Kochi in Kerala.
The Gulf nation’s national oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corp. was also offered a stake in the 1 million tonnes (mt) petrochemical plant that was split from the Rs.29,777 crore refinery at Paradip for building in future, the officials said.
The chemical plant will be build after the 15-million-tonnes-a-year refinery is commissioned this year as IOC faced a cash crunch in view of selling subsidized fuel.
Kuwait is India’s third largest supplier of crude oil, with supply of 17.70 mt of crude oil in 2011-12.
“We see Kuwait as an important long-term partner for our ever-growing energy needs and are keen to strengthen cooperation with Kuwait in the energy sector through joint ventures in the hydrocarbon sector in the upstream as well as downstream sectors,” Moily said at the meeting.
“We are keen to strengthen our cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector beyond buying of crude oil and hope that Kuwait invests in our petrochemical projects like ONGC’s project at Mangalore,” he said.
Moily invited Kuwait investment in the liquefied natural gas terminals coming up on east and west coast as well as offered capacity in the strategic oil storages India is building at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mangalore and Padur in Karanataka.