Essar Oil UK plans reconfiguration in wake of govt focus on e-vehicles

With the Ruias' Essar Oil UK nearing completion of a $250-million investment at a refinery in Stanlow, the company is working on a reconfiguration plan, with the changing trends in global energy.

The company announced its results for the first half of the current financial year. Profit after tax was $169 million, compared to $51 mn in the same period last year.

It is exploring the option of setting up battery charging stations at company-owned retail outlets. This will start with a charging station at an outlet planned in Stanlow next year. The company operates 46 fuel retail outlets.

"We are undertaking a reconfiguration study, to focus on the ever-changing landscape we operate in. This will help in determining how we see the world in the next 10-15 years," said S Thangapandian, a chief executive officer for Essar Oil.

Adding: "As we move forward, we are looking at improving the yield of a long-life product like jet fuel and also increase the petrochemical production at the site. In simple words, to move from transportation fuel, the main driver today, to other products with a longer life span in the market like jet fuel and petrochemicals."

He said the company might look to increase the petrochemical share from the current six per cent to 20-plus per cent in the long term but that would depend on the study.

Essar Oil UK is a subsidiary of Essar Energy Ltd, which owns and operates the Stanlow refinery. Stanlow produces three billion litres of petrol, 4.4 bn litres of diesel and two bn litres of jet fuel a year.

The management expects a clear picture on the reconfiguration plan before December next year. Thangapandian said the state's focus on electric vehicles and emissions was the main driver for this study. A small team has been studying these options for the past four-odd months.

Essar Oil UK will also complete its 'Project Tiger Cub', to raise throughput, reduce crude oil costs and drive revenue growth by March 2018. The company's latest investment involved $250 mn towards increasing of production, more focus on high-value products and to expand its crude oil sourcing basket. This will help refinery capacity to increase from 68 mn barrels to 75 mn barrels by March next year. So far, the group has invested about $800 mn in the refinery since its acquisition.

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