Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is looking to buy about half of the $4.6-billion Indian petchem project backed by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC)
ONGC (ONGC.NS) is a majority shareholder in ONGC Petro Additions Ltd (OPaL), which operates India’s biggest petrochemical plant in western Gujarat state.
A source close to matter said that SABIC want to have a significant stake, around 50 per cent, in OPaL, while a secod source said that previously ONGC had held talks about selling a stake in the project with Saudi Aramco and Petrochemical Industries Co, a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corp, according to Reuters.
Saudi Aramco recently signed an initial deal with India to buy a 50 percent stake in a planned 1.2 million barrels per day west coast refinery and petrochemical project, strengthening their trade ties. Saudi Arabia is also scouting for a stake in existing major refineries, in an effort to expand its footprint in the world’s third-biggest oil importer its Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has said.
India’s per capita consumption of synthetic polymers, used to make various grades of plastics, is just 10 kg a year, compared with a global average of about 32 kg, but the country’s per capita consumption of petrochemicals is expected to rise with its expanding middle class, growing income levels and increasing urbanisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in March last year, Reuters said.
ONGC and SABIC did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.