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BPCL plans to expand board

Aditi Divekar/Mumbai 14 Sep 17 | 01:01 AM

D Rajkumar, chairman and MD of BPCL. Photo: Kamlesh Pednekar

Having received the Maharatna status, state-run oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) could look to add new roles at board level with business development being one of them, given the thrust the company is laying on expanding its global business.

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“With the Maharatna status conferred upon us, the government has opened up the leadership pipeline for the company. The kind of global expansion the company is looking to have, there is need to have a business development official at the board level," D Rajkumar, chairman and managing director, told Business Standard at a press meet after the company’s annual general meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday. Currently, BPCL's competitor Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has a planning and business development official on its board.

“Apart from business development, requirement of a board member for the research & development (R&D) segment could also arise but this addition could be made only as and when required. As of now, the need for a planning and business development role at board level looks important," he said.

Though BPCL may decide on expanding its board, a final approval for any addition at board level has to come from the government. Due to the Maharatna status, the company will be able to raise cheaper funds and make investments of up to Rs 5,000 crore in a single project from the earlier Rs 1,000 crore.

On the $40-billion mega refinery being planned in Maharashtra, where the project is facing local agitation for land acquisition, Rajkumar said, “We have been having meetings with Maharashtra government as latest as Monday and are hopeful we will meet the project implementation deadline of 2018."

The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation is taking care of the land acquisition process for this project to be set up in Ratnagiri district. 

The upcoming 60-million tonne refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex is expected to be commissioned by 2022 and has IOC, BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation as its stakeholders.

BPCL said that it will invest Rs 1.08 lakh crore over the next five years to expand operations across its business segments. The company is also bullish on the petrochemicals segment and plans to invest around Rs 45,000 crore in the business over the same period.

BPCL, which operates its exploration and production segment through its wholly-owned subsidiary Bharat PetroResources, has invested $2.6 billion on exploration and production so far. The company holds exploration and production blocks in Mozambique, Brazil, Australia, and Indonesia.

BPRL holds 10 percent stake in the Mozambique-Rovuma basin, which has a capacity of about 75 trillion cubic feet. The company said a funding arrangement for the Mozambique basin is currently being worked out. “A final investment decision for the basin would be worked out at the end of FY18. The first gas from the project can be expected by 2022-23," Rajkumar said.

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