State-owned Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Assam has received environmental clearance from the environment and forest ministry for its expansion.

The officials said that NRL, whose 27th Annual General Meeting was held on Monday, plans to ramp up its capacity from 3 to 9 million metric tonnes per annum.

The company said that its focus is primarily on three major ongoing projects — Refining Capacity Expansion Project, Indo-Bangladesh Friendship pipeline (IBFPL), and Biorefinery Project — which have gained momentum and recorded definitive progress.

“The 130-km IBFPL for exporting NRL products from the Siliguri Marketing Terminal (in West Bengal) to Bangladesh is progressing well. Also, the country’s first 2G bamboo- based bio-refinery being executed through a joint venture has recorded adequate progress on the ground,” NRL said in a statement.

NRL Managing Director SK Barua said. “Stringent monitoring of these three projects taking into consideration lockdowns, travel restrictions, logistic disruptions and migrant worker availability, would be critical to ensure their scheduled completion and commissioning.”

NRL’s profitability in 2019-20 was adversely affected due to inventory losses in March (2020), as crude oil prices reached a new low due to Covid-19 pandemic, the statement added.

Revenue from operations recorded a dip at Rs 14,073 crore during the 2019-20 fiscal, compared with Rs 18,511 crore in the previous year due to lower sales volume and reduction in prices of petroleum products in the international market.

Profit before tax decreased to Rs 1,735 crore during 2019-20 from Rs 3,052 crore in the previous year, it added.

Consequently, profit after tax decreased to Rs 1,381 crore in 2019-20, compared with Rs 1,968 crore in the previous year.

NRL’s contribution to the central and state exchequers in the form of taxes, duties, and dividends during 2019-20 has been Rs 3,361 crore, it added.

The refinery processed 2,383 TMT of crude oil in 2019-20, compared with 2,900 TMT in 2018-19, the decline being mainly attributable to refinery turnaround undertaken after a gap of four years and lower capacity utilisation during March (2020) in the aftermath of COVID-19.

Overall sales volume during 2019-20 was 2,361 TMT against the production of 2,300 TMT, said the NRL statement.

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