A huge fire that broke out in one of the secondary processing unit of the Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery, earlier today, could cut the unit’s refining capacity by over 50% from its current level of 32 million tonnes (MT). The fire, which broke out in the VGO Hydrotreater – II at 11.00 hrs IST (05.30 hrs GMT) was brought under control within 2 – 3 hrs. Reliance’s Jamnagar refinery is one of the largest in the world producing between 32 and 40 million tonnes of petrol and diesel annually. This refinery accounts for 24% of the refining capacity of India, which could be strained for the next few weeks because of this fire.

Company officials are assessing the exact damage of this fire, which had completely knocked down one of the two hydrotreaters units at the plant. A hydrotreater is a common process unit in an oil refinery that saturates aromatics, olefins and undesirable compounds like sulfur and nitrogen in the crude, using hydrogen. The refinery might be shut down for a period of two to four weeks, as a result of this fire accident and India may need to import petrol and diesel during this period to compensate the loss in production. Reliance’s Jamnagar Refinery is the world’s largest green-field petroleum refinery–cum-petrochemical complex, with a capacity to handle 50 million tonnes of liquid products in a year.

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