North-East to be developed as hydrocarbon hub
The Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, launched the North-East Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 in Guwahati today. The document aims to develop India's north-eastern region into a major hydrocarbon hub in the coming years. The plan seeks to develop north-east as a gateway for South Asian and South-East Asian hydrocarbon markets by augmenting the capacity of refineries and laying a pipeline grid.
North-eastern India is a largely unexplored treasure house of hydrocarbons. For instance, Nagaland has around 600 million tonnes of oil which can increase India's on-shore oil production by 75%.
Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the largest wax plant in India with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes in Assam. The Numaligarh refinery's wax plant, built with an investment of Rs.676crores is an example of 'Make in India', as it uses indigenous technologies. The plant would leverage the higher wax content found in Assamese oil and provide opportunities for ancillary industries, besides generating employment for locals.
The plant located in Dibrugarh, Assam would not only reduce imports of paraffin and micro-crystalline wax but also export to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, etc. under India's 'Act East Policy'. The PM also inaugurated the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited which is a petrochemical complex located at Lepetkata, Dibrugarh in Assam. The foundation for the project was laid in 2007.
The Government of India has set a target of reducing India's oil imports by 10% from the present 77% by 2022. The North-East Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 is a step in this direction.
According to the North-East Hydrocarbon Vision 2030, Rs.1,30,000 crores will be invested in the region over 15 years. About Rs.80,000 crores will be invested in upstream (exploration, drilling, etc), Rs.20,000 crores in midstream (transportation, storage, etc.) and Rs.30,000 crores in the downstream (refining, processing, etc) segment. The refining capacity will also be increased from 7 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) to 16 MMTPA.
The government aims to double the oil and natural gas output from the north-east which currently produces around 4.5 MMTPA of oil and 11 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic meters per day) of natural gas, besides laying a 7000km long pipeline grid.