Indian Oil (IOC), the nation’s largest oil firm, expects refinery run to reach 100% within a quarter as fuel demand returns, its chairman SM Vaidya said. Speaking at India Energy Forum by CERAWeek, he said petrol and cooking gas LPG demand is already above pe-Covid levels and diesel — the most consumed fuel in the country — is inching back to normalcy. “Energy demand is rebounding in India with the revival of economic activity” after a devastating pandemic, he said.
India’s energy demand had halved after a nationwide lockdown was imposed in late March last year. But with gradual easing of restrictions, economic activity has rebounded. Vaidya said the robust energy demand in India is only set to grow in the future.
“LPG and petrol have already exceeded pre-Covid levels, and we expect refinery capacity to reach 100% by the next quarter,” he said. IOC’s refineries operated at 82% of capacity in September and are above 90% this month. He said IOC is strengthening its core business of refining and is looking to enhance its refining capacity to 105 million tonnes per annum from current 80.5 million tonne at the cost of $13.5 billion.
“Oil will continue to be lead fuel for next two decades,” he said. “The country needs all forms of energy, and as a responsible corporate, IndianOil is strengthening its core business while expanding into the green energy domain. “ Vaidya said.