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The Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Chennai, has committed to invest Rs 54,000 crore in various projects in Tamil Nadu in the next few years, including a 9 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) grass-root refinery at an estimated cost of Rs 35,580 crore, its executive director and state head (TN & Puducherry) V C Asokan said here on Thursday.

This new refinery, which will come up on about 1,300 acres of land in Nagapattinam, will produce petrol and diesel for BS-VI specifications and also polypropylene.

The world’s second-largest integrated lubes complex at Ammullaivoyal village for Rs 1,398 crore apart, the IOCL has planned to lay product pipelines (Rs 2,600 crore), gas pipelines including LPG (Rs 2,225 crore), CGD projects (Rs 7,570 crore), open new retail outlets and launch a modernisation programme (Rs 2,500 crore), build a captive POL/LPG jetty at Kamrajar port (Rs 921 crore), establish a terminal at Vallur (for Rs 724 crore) and set up a new terminal at Asanur (for Rs 466 crore), he said.

“For Indian Oil, Tamil Nadu is an important market and we are constantly investing in the state to improve the infrastructure and product offerings as well as our services,” Asokan told reporters.

Indian Oil, he said, would establish 6 LNG dispensing stations in Tamil Nadu. Already one station at Sriperumbudur is in the pilot stage while the other stations will come up at Ponneri, Othakdai, Namakkal, Coimbatore and Koneripalli.

India’s largest fuel refiner and retailer has commenced blending bio-diesel with diesel at Sankari terminal and will be starting from Asanur soon, followed by Coimbatore. “We will commence in other locations in a phased manner,” Asokan said.

To a question, he replied that extensive research is being done to use hydrogen as an alternate fuel, as it is pollution-free. “But the challenge is the price of green hydrogen produced from water electrolysis should be economically viable for the consumers,” he added.