Oil giant Saudi Aramco and a group of Indian state refiners have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a major refinery and petrochemicals complex on India’s west coast at a cost of $44bn, oil officials at the signing of the deal told Reuters.
Aramco and India’s Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals — a joint venture of the Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation — have agreed to take 50-50 holdings in the project in Maharashtra state.
The project will include a 1.2mn barrels per day refinery, combined with petrochemical facilities with an output of 18mn tonnes per year.
The plant will be one of the leading refining and petrochemical projects worldwide when completed.
“Large as this project may be, it does not by itself satisfy our desire to invest in India ... We see India as a priority for investments and for our crude supplies,” Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih said.
“We’re very much interested in retail ... we want to be consumer facing,” he added.
It is understood Saudi Aramco will supply at least 50% of the crude oil to be processed at the facility, officials told the news agency.
Al Falih also suggested that Aramco could bring in another strategic partner to share its 50% stake further down the line.
Earlier this year, Al Falih had raised the possibility of further investments in India and Aramco is looking to pen downstream deals alongside securing tie-ins for the sale of its crude oil.