Foreign firms mull investments in Indian petrochemical zone | SupportBiz


Foreign firms mull investments in Indian petrochemical zone

Despite the absence of a main investor, companies from West Asia and the US are mulling investments in a multi-billion-dollar petro-chemical zone slated for development in India’s southern Andhra Pradesh state, a state government official said.

Two companies from West Asia and one from the US are in talks with the Andhra Pradesh government, said the official from the Commissionerate of Industries, a state government agency, requesting anonymity.

The three potential investors are not looking to be anchor investors, the official said.

The proposed project, Petroleum, Chemical and Petro-chemical Investment Region (PCPIR), will be developed on some 600 sq km between two port cities, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada, on India's eastern coast.

The investor-interest could prove to be a shot in the arm for the delayed project. State-run oil firm Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) was shortlisted to be the anchor unit for this project, but backed out because it could not find partners. The government took back the 1,500 acres allotted to the firm in 2007. HPCL had planned to invest 450 billion rupees in a 15 million tonnes per annum petrochemical complex, according to a Deccan Chronicle report.

Andhra Pradesh is still not ready with a draft master plan for the petro-chemical zone, and the same will be ready by will be ready by the end of July, said the vice-chairman of the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority and the PCPIR project, according to the Business Line.

HPCL could revisit its decision to pull out of the project, according to a Hindu report. “We did hear that HPCL was reconsidering.. but the company has not approached the government as yet,” the state government official said.