HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), part owned by steel tycoon L N Mittal, has delayed the start-up of its Bathinda refinery in Punjab state by a fortnight to the end of this month, an industry source said. The refiner shut the refinery on April 30 for about 45 days to raise capacity by about 28 percent to 230,000 bpd. State-refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL.NS) and Mittal Energy Investments Pvt Ltd each own a 49 percent stake in the project. HMEL will also raise the capacity of its sulphur recovery unit to 700 tonnes a day from 600 tonnes as it seeks to increase the processing of cheaper tougher grades to maximise profit, said one of the sources.
The refiner will also increase the capacity of its vacuum gas oil hydrotreater to 3.5 million tonnes a year from 3 million tonnes now and build a bitumen blowing unit. The company also plans to convert its captive power plant, running on diesel and gas, to be pet coke fired. HMEL’s chief executive Prabh Das declined to comment.