Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today dedicated the Rs 21,500 crore Guru Gobind Singh Refinery at Bathinda in Punjab to the nation.
Dr. Singh said that Rs.21500 crore refinery with a refining capacity of 9 MMTPA was a unique example of partnership between the public and private sector and complimented the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Mittal Energy Limited led by global captain of industry Lakshmi N. Mittal for setting up this giant venture with the worlds latest technology and experts in the petroleum industry.
The Prime Minister said that this refinery was equipped with latest technology and capability to introduce Bharat stage III and IV fuels,which reiterated our commitment to safeguard our environment and push ahead with growth. The refinery sector in the country has shown phenomenal growth and India has emerged a refining hub. From 62 MMTPA per annum,in 1998 the countrys refining capacity has grown about three-and-a half times to 213 MMTPA today. He said India had sufficient refining capacity to enable us to export petroleum products and hoped the products from this refinery would especially help in bridging the gap between demand and supply in the northern region of the country.
Speaking on the occasion,Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal demanded a special economic package for the industrial growth in the state on the pattern of concessions and incentives given to industry in our neighbouring states. Badal also asked the Prime Minister to immediately provide relief to the beleaguered farmers of the Punjab in terms of complete waiver of debt to the tune of Rs.30000 crore.
In his address Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S Jaipal Reddy hoped that this sort of novel partnership would be replicated in other states also for setting up such more mega refineries to give stimulus to the energy sector. The Union State Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gases R.P.N. Singh said that with the installation of this refinery in Bathinda,the transport cost of petroleum products to the region would decrease,which would prove helpful in providing impetus to the much needed industrialization of the state.
The Chairman of MEL and Steel Tycoon Lakshmi N. Mittal said that the refinery would set up a new milestone in the state as it would not only strengthen the power sector of the country but would also help in developing Punjab as a Petrochemical hub in the world. He said that owing to its tremendous capacity this refinery would not only cater to the demands of petroleum products of the state but would also fulfill the demand of neighboring states like Jammu and Kashmir,Himachal Pradesh,Uttarakhand,Haryana and Rajasthan. Thanking Union and State government along with the residents of Bathinda for their unstinted support in completion of the project,Mittal said that his group would make untiring efforts to double the capacity of refinery from 9 MMTPA to 18 MMTPA in the coming years.