In a move that will help the company make value-added products from surplus naphtha, Indian Oil Corp has started a naphtha cracker at the Panipat refinery. Feed cutting that commenced will be followed by first on-spec product in four to five days. About 15-20 days will be taken to commission most of the downstream polymer units. About 200,000 tons per month of naphtha will be required at full capacity and will be sourced from IOC's Koyali plant, Panipat and Mathura refineries. The naphtha cracker, with capacity to produce 800,000 tpa of ethylene and 600,000 tpa of polypropylene, will initially run at about 60% capacity. Stabilisation and ramping up the throughput may take three to four months.
IOC is India's biggest state-run refiner and operates about 10 refineries across the country with a total capacity of more than 1.2 million bpd. India’s state-run refiners have an increasing quantity of naphtha available for exports since Reliance Industries’ supply of gas from its deepwater field that has caused power and fertilizer companies to switch to cheaper fuel.