India’s biggest refiner Indian Oil Corp will continue to import gasoline until at least December due to a heavy maintenance line-up and the slow start-up of a key unit at a new refinery, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. The Fuel trader said they had expected IOC to stop importing gasoline and halt naphtha exports once a unit involved in the production of the motor fuel started up at the 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Paradip on India’s northeast coast.
IOC started up the Paradip plant last year and is still commissioning some units. In March, it commissioned Paradip’s continuous catalytic reformer (CCR), which uses naphtha as a feedstock to produce reformate, a product used to make gasoline. “The CCR was functional for a week (and) after that there was a problem with the compressor,” said one of the sources. It is not clear when the CCR will start back up, and IOC did not respond to a request for comment.