Mumbai: Reliance Industries (RIL) has commissioned the world’s largest off-gas cracker facility at its Jamnagar complex, completing its multi-billion-dollar expansion which has seen it doubling the ethylene capacity and entering the league of top 5 petrochemical producers globally.
The commissioning of the cracker plant increases RIL’s combined ethylene capacity to close to 4 million metric tonne per annum at its five sites.
With this, Jamnagar in Gujarat has also become home to the world’s largest operating refinery off-gas cracker, said RIL that also runs the world’s largest single location petroleum refinery at Jamnagar with a 60 million tonne annual capacity.
Commissioning of the ethylene plant integrates feedstock with the two refineries nearby, thus providing sustainable cost advantage to RIL over its global peers.
“The world’s first ROGC and downstream plants marks a paradigm shift in profitability and sustainability of our petchem business as the complex deeply integrates our feedstock, reducing cost massively. This expansion once again showcases our competitive advantage in efficient execution of complex projects,” chairman Mukesh Ambani was quoted as saying in a statement.
According to RIL, the new facility is the world’s first ever and the largest refinery off-gas cracker (ROGC) complex of 1.5 mmtpa capacity along with downstream plants and utilities.
“The new facility is the world’s first ever and the largest refinery off-gas cracker (ROGC) complex of 1.5 mmtpa capacity along with downstream plants and utilities,” RIL said in a statement.
“This is the largest ever expansion of RIL’s petrochemicals portfolio, and is also the last leg of the multi-billion dollar capex cycle, which was also one the largest capex programmes globally in the sector in recent times,” it said.
In 2014, the company had announced a $16 billion capex plan at Jamnagar.
“This complex epitomises our core strategy of continuously pursuing opportunities for cost optimisation and efficiency enhancement through vertical integration across the value chain,” RIL said, adding the complex’s uniqueness is that it uses off-gases from RIL’s two refineries at Jamnagar as feedstock.
Integration of feedstock with refineries provides a sustainable cost advantage, making the ROGC competitive with respect to the crackers in Middle East and North America which have feedstock cost advantage, the company said.
The Jamnagar ROGC is the latest addition to RIL’s existing cracker portfolio, consisting of cracker facilities at Nagothane in Maharashtra and Hazira, Dahej and Vadodara in Gujarat.
There are around 270 ethylene plants in the world with a combined capacity of over 170 mmtpa, while RIL’s combined ethylene capacity is close to 4 mmtpa now at five manufacturing sites.
Ethylene from the ROGC is used in downstream plants to produce mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) and polyethylene. Similarly, propylene from ROGC has enhanced output of the existing polypropylene (PP) plants at Jamnagar complex.
In the past three years, the company has already commissioned the para-xylene (PX), purified terephthalic acid (PTA), polyester filament and poly ethylene terephthalate (PET) plants.
The company claimed that the ROGC complex was built in a record time with around 40 percent lower capital cost compared to similar projects globally.
The RIL counter, which is the largest in terms of market capitalisation at Rs 5.77 trillion, ended the trade flat at Rs 911.40 on the BSE whose benchmark also ended flat.
(Disclosure – Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd)