Indian Refining Summit successfully concludes affirming the demand for petrochemicals will remain robust

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The fifth edition of India Refining Summit concluded on a successful note converging 100 attendees that included decision makers, suppliers, policymakers and key stakeholders from the refining and petrochemical industry. Scheduled at a crucial time when Indian economy is witnessing green shoots of revival which will increase the need for oil and gas, the conference touched upon important topics like infrastructure, alternative fuel options, net zero carbon technologies and acceptance of digitalisation.

The conference was inaugurated by Hon’ble chief guest Shri Tarun Kapoor, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) who was accompanied by eminent members from the industry including:

  • Shri R.K. Sabharwal, Chairman & Managing Director, Engineers India Ltd
  • Shri Bhaskar Jyoti Phukan, Director (Technical), Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL)
  • Ms Vartika Shukla, Director Technical, Engineers India Ltd

Addressing the audience, Shri Tarun Kapoor, IAS, Secretary, Chief Guest, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) stated: “With the right capabilities, technical knowledge, manpower and infrastructure like ports, pipelines and product transportation facilities, India has the potential to become a global hub for refining and the petrochemicals industry. But with prices of crude oil constantly fluctuating in the market, storage is also an important element and as the sector moves forward, we should be able to create more storage within the country.”

Shri Tarun Kapoor also felicitated, industry veteran Shri R.K. Sabharwal, Chairman & Managing Director, Engineers India Limited with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his valuable contribution to the growth and development of the industry.

Providing a clear picture for the future of refining and petrochemicals sector at the inauguration ceremony Ms Vartika Shukla, Director Technical, Engineers India Limited shared: “The growth of petrochemicals is one and a half times of GDP that means we stand at a growth rate of over 12% enhancement with Nafta, LPG and jet fuels accounting for the maximum growth rate all through 2040. When we look at futuristic technologies of directly converting crude to petrochemicals, the percentage of COTC technologies might go up from 40% to 70%.”

She also added: “While India’s demand for gasoline and diesel remains robust and hydrogen is the fuel of the future. The target today, of the whole research fraternity is towards the development of net zero carbon technologies and solutions and to achieve this goal, the sector is looking forward to the production of green hydrogen which is a clean source of fuel, is energy intensive and highly versatile.”

The physical platform was highly lauded by the speakers and delegates attending after a year long gap of disruptions caused by COVID–19. Showcasing perseverance to overcome the challenges, the attendees seemed delighted to meet and interact with peers on sharing a common goal and addressing similar challenges catering to the growth and development of the core sectors. The conference received strong support from companies like Engineers India Ltd as knowledge partner, New Gas Technologies (NGT) Synthesis, Gazprom NEFT and Honeywell as session partners.

Highlighting the solutions discussed at the conference, Mr Purav Bhatt, Lead Digitalisation, Asia Remote Services and Asset Management, Siemens shared: “The customers and suppliers are together working towards the integration of digital transformation in the sector. The solutions that I specifically was interested in were remote monitoring solutions and the digital twin which was expressed by every speaker at the platform; directing towards a positive sign of sharing a common goal.”

Though India has a lot of refining capacity, Indian refiners do need to improve in certain areas like energy use, reliability, volume expansion index that allows companies to sell lighter diesel and alternative power fuel options. The new refineries need to have higher complexity to provide better value additions to petrochemicals. Covering the challenges and growth prospects alike, the two–day conference concluded sharing the right kind of technological solutions the industry demands.