The IOCL Paradip refinery in Odisha has been operational since 2016. Owned and operated by India’s state-owned refiner Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL), the refinery has the capacity to process up to 15 million tonnes (Mt) of crude a year.

Officially inaugurated in February 2016, the Paradip refinery achieved 100% capacity utilisation in May 2017. The crude processing commenced in the atmospheric and vacuum distillation (AVU) unit in April, while the refinery started supplying petroleum products in November 2015, followed by the subsequent commissioning of other units in a phased manner.

Location and infrastructure facilities

The IOCL Paradip refinery is located in Paradip, in the Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha, India. Spread over approximately 3,345 acres, the refinery site lies approximately 5km southwest of the Paradip Port.

The refinery can handle high-sulphur crude oils and it produces a range of refinery products including, petrol, diesel, liquified petroleum gas (LPG), aviation turbine fuel, kerosene, sulphur, and petroleum coke.

The IOCL-operated captive South Oil Jetty located in the Paradip Port is utilised for the import of crude oil and export of petroleum products. The refinery also receives electricity and steam from a 366MW captive power plant.

Processing modules

The various processing units in the refinery include a 15Mtpa crude/vacuum distillation unit, a 4.1Mtpa delayed coking unit, a 5.2Mtpa diesel hydrotreating unit, a 5.4Mtpa vacuum gasoil hydrotreatment unit, a 4.17Mtpa-capacity INDMAX fluidised catalytic cracker unit, a continuous catalytic reformer unit, an alkylation unit, a hydrogen generation unit, a naphtha hydrotreater unit, as well as LPG and kerosene treater units.

A 700Ktpa-capacity polypropylene plant was also commissioned in the refinery and petrochemical complex in June 2019.

Pipeline network

The 679km-long Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur pipeline exports LPG from the Paradip refinery, Haldia refinery, and the Indian Oil Petronas (IPPL) import terminal in Haldia, to bottling plants at Balasore, Kalyani, Budge Budge, and Durgapur. The pipeline is currently undergoing augmentation and extension to reach up to Patna and Muzaffarpur.

Two petroleum product pipeline projects, including the 1,212km-long Paradip to Hyderabad pipeline and the 344km-long Paradip-Somnathpur-Haldia pipeline, are also currently under construction and are expected to be completed in 2022.

On-going petrochemical projects at the refinery

An ethylene glycol project at the Paradip refinery is expected to be completed in October 2021, while the IOCL’s board sanctioned a Para-Xylene (PX) and Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) complex project at the refinery complex in July 2020. The total investment in the project, which is expected to be completed by early 2024, is estimated to be approximately 1.4bn ($1.8bn).

The PX and PTA units will have 800Ktpa and 1,200Ktpa capacities respectively. In the integrated PX/PTA plant, naphtha will be processed PX unit to produce paraxylene, while the PTA unit will process paraxylene to produce purified terephthalic acid.

The IOCL’s board also gave Stage-1 approval to install a Needle Coker unit, with a calcined needle coke production capacity of 56Ktpa, in September 2020. The total investment in the project is estimated to be approximately £129.4m ($172.7m).

Recently awarded contracts

Italy-based Maire Tecnimont bagged an engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) lump sum contract worth approximately £324m ($450m) for a new para-xylene (PX) plant in the Paradip refinery in April 2021.

The 800ktpa new PX plant will provide feed to the adjacent Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) unit. The project is expected to reach mechanical completion in 33 months from the award date.

Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) received a contract worth approximately £38.4m ($53.3m) to supply a 525tpd-capacity sulphur recovery unit for the IOCL Paradip refinery in March 2021.

The scope of the contract includes project management, residual process design, detailed engineering, procurement, manufacturing, supply, testing, erection, construction, commissioning, and performance guarantee test run.

Linde entered into a long-term contract with IOCL to supply oxygen and nitrogen for the IOCL Paradip refinery in April 2020.

Praxair India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Linde, will build, own, and operate an air separation unit (ASU) to supply oxygen and nitrogen for the IOCL Paradip refinery. The construction of the 660 tonnes per day (tpd) ASU is expected to be completed in October 2021.

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), received the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning (EPCC) contracts for a mono ethylene glycol (MEG) plant and an ethylene recovery unit (ERU), as well as associated offsite and utilities for the Paradip refinery in January 2019.

The 375Kta MEG plant is licensed by Scientific Design, while the 180Kta ERU is licensed by Lummus Technology.