Essar's Vadinar Refinery is India's second largest refinery built at one location. (Credit: Nayara/
Vadinar Oil Refinery has a Nelson Complexity Index of 11.8. (Credit: Nayara/
Vadinar Oil Refinery is built over an area of more than 3,000 acres. (Credit: マクフライ 腰抜け from Pixabay)

The Nayara Energy-operated Vadinar Refinery is a crude oil refinery located in the town of Vadinar in Devbhoomi Dwarka district in Gujarat, India.

It is currently the second largest, single-site refinery in the country with an annual capacity of 20 million metric tonnes (MMT) or 405,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Vadinar Oil Refinery has a Nelson Complexity Index of 11.8 and it is capable of processing a high proportion of heavy and ultra-heavy crude oils as well as Euro IV and Euro V grades of oils.

Essar Oil started working to build the refinery in 1994. It commenced commercial production in May 2008.

In August 2017, Rosneft and Trafigura UCP Consortium (which was rechristened as Nayara Energy) took over Vadinar Refinery under a $12.9bn deal. Now, the refinery is operated by Nayara Energy.

Location details

Vadinar Oil Refinery is built over an area of more than 3,000 acres. It is situated on the west coast of India from where over 65% of crude oil for the country is imported.

The site is in close proximity to the oil producers in the Middle East, which reduces crude freight costs.

The location of the refinery will also help to cater to the domestic market as well as export to key markets in Europe, the Middle East and South-East Asia.

Around one-third of the refinery area is reserved for a green zone.

Refinery details and milestones

Work to build the refinery in Vadinar started in 1994. Several structures at the refinery site were damaged in a cyclone in 1998. Financial sanctions on India following the Pokhran nuclear test in 1998 further delayed the project.

In early 2005, Essar Oil resumed work to complete the project and planned the commissioning of the plant in phases. The refinery commenced trial production with a capacity of 7.5 MTPA in November 2006.

An expansion and optimisation of the refinery increased the refining capacity and refinery complexity from 10.5 million tonnes to 20 million tonnes and from 6.1 to 11.8, respectively, in four years.

The Vadinar refinery has been operating above its nameplate capacity after the commercial operations began.

The refinery complex is referred to as a ‘Super Site’ with fully integrated infrastructure. It has a port as well as rail and road infrastructure to transport products.

The all-weather captive port has the capacity to handle 27 MMTPA of crude and 14 MTPA of products.

The refinery transports products through rail or roads through fully mechanised Rail and Truck gantries. Nayara Energy owns and operates a rail and road loading terminal in India adjacent to the refinery.

A 1,010MW power plant is also built to supply both power and steam to the refinery.

Vadinar refinery also features a seawater desalination unit to enable the use of seawater for refinery processes. This in turn trims freshwater requirements.

Contractors involved

In 2004, SembCorp Engineers and Constructors (SembE&C) secured engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for the Vadinar refinery project.

A consortium of SembE&C and ABB Lummus won the contracts to offer project design and management services, as well as for the construction of the power station.

Tata Consulting Engineers (TCE) was also associated with the project and provided detailed engineering, procurement assistance and construction management of off-sites and utilities.

The off-sites facilities involved storage and transfer of crude, intermediates and products; blending facilities; dispatch facilities; fuel oil/gas/system; and effluent treatment and disposal facilities; while utilities included steam generation, compressed air, DM plant and electrical system.

Vadinar Refinery Petrochemical Expansion

In 2019, Nayara Energy unveiled plans to invest $850m to expand the Vadinar Refinery and foray into petrochemicals.

The company aims to expand refinery capacity from the existing 20 MMTPA to 46 MMTPA as well as build petrochemical units.

In 2021, Nayara Energy reached financial closure for the first phase of its expansion plan into petrochemicals after securing a project term loan of Rs40.16bn ($504.18m). The funding will be used to build a 450KTPA polypropylene plant at its Vadinar refinery.