Reliance to build $6 billion petrochem complex in Gujarat with US help

Washington, May 17 (IANS) The Export-Import Bank of the United States has given a $500 million loan guarantee to Reliance Petroleum Ltd. (RPL) to build a $6 billion state-of-the-art oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The new refinery will be the world’s sixth largest and will be located adjacent to Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL) existing refinery and petrochemical complex in Jamnagar. Together the two refineries will comprise the largest refining complex in the world.

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While Citibank is the guaranteed lender on the transaction, Bechtel Corp is providing design, procurement, project management and other services, Ex-Im Bank announced here Wednesday.

Major US exporters also participating in the project include: Black & Veatch International Co for sulphur recovery and gas treatment units; Dow Global Technologies for licensing and services for the polypropylene plant process; Foster Wheeler Corp for fired heaters for the refinery’s coker; and UOP LLC for the catalytic converter reactor section and PSA (Pressure Swing Absorption) packages.

“Ex-Im Bank’s long and successful relationship with the RIL group of companies, dating back to the early 1980s, has contributed to growth in the dynamic Indian market while helping to create US jobs,” said Ex-Im Bank chairman and president James H. Lambright. “We hope to support future RIL projects in other industrial sectors.”

“This transaction is yet another affirmation from Ex-Im Bank of the growth potential that they see in India and in particular the Reliance Group,” said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL and chairman of RPL.

“We look forward to deepening and strengthening our valued relationship with Ex-Im Bank.”

Once completed in December 2008, the refinery will be among the most modern and complex in the world, capable of producing high quality fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel diesel, alkylates, naphtha, kerosene, as well as polypropylene.

The refinery’s Nelson Complexity Index is 14, compared to the average index of 10 in the United States. This is a measure of the refinery’s technological processing capabilities.

Ex-Im Bank’s exposure to India, including the current project, is approximately $3.1 billion, with $1.17 billion in additional pending final commitments. An independent US government agency, Ex-Im Bank authorised over $12.1 billion in transactions supporting an estimated $16.1 billion in US exports in 2006.