Smoke is seen after a fire broke out at a refinery of Bharat Petroleum after explosions in Chembur area of Mumbai on 8 August 2018. India on Friday banned the import of petcoke for use as fuel. Photo: PTI.
Singapore: India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd will keep a secondary unit at its 120,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Mumbai refinery offline for at least two months following a fire last week, two industry sources said on Friday.
When contacted, a BPCL spokesman could not immediately confirm the duration of the shutdown, saying that a decision will be made in one to two days.
The middle distillates-making unit, a 6,000-tonnes per day (tpy) hydrocracker, was shut since 8 August following a fire that left 40 people injured.
Middle distillates are namely, gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene.
“The hydrocracker is expected to be shut for two to three months but BPCL is unlikely to import gasoil due to high domestic inventories,” said one of the two sources.
India on Friday banned the import of petcoke for use as fuel, but said shipments for use as feedstock in some industries was allowed.
Usage of petcoke, a dirtier alternative to coal, in the energy-hungry country has come under scrutiny due to rising pollution levels in major cities.
“Import of Petcoke is allowed for only cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification industries, when used as the feedstock or in the manufacturing process on actual user condition,” the directorate general of foreign trade said.
As the world’s largest consumer of petcoke, India imports over half its annual petcoke consumption of about 27 million tonnes, mainly from the United States. Local producers include Indian Oil Corp, Reliance Industries and Bharat Petroleum Corp.
India is the world’s biggest consumer of petroleum coke, which is a dark solid carbon material that emits 11 percent more greenhouse gases than coal, according to the Carnegie–Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.