PM Modi will now lay foundation stone for Barmer refinery on January 16

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje reached Pachpadra on Thursday and inspected the preparations for the ceremony.

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January 5, 2018, 10:54 am

prime minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jaipur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled program for laying the foundation stone of Pachpadra refinery in Barmer district has been postponed. The ceremony was earlier scheduled for January 14, but now Modi will lay the foundation stone on January 16.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje reached Pachpadra on Thursday and inspected the preparations for the ceremony. She was accompanied by transport minister Yunus Khan, minister of state Amraram Choudhary and Baytu MLA Kailash Choudhary among others.

Former chief minister Ashok Gehlot had recently accused the Rajasthan government of stealing credit as the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had already laid the foundation stone.

The foundation ceremony has apparently been well timed ahead of the upcoming by-polls for Alwar and Ajmer parliamentary constituencies and Mandalgarh assembly constituency. The voting will take place on January 29 nearly 13 days prior to the foundation stone ceremony.

Source said that the state government wanted Modi to address public rallies in the state ahead of the elections to leverage his popularity.

A joint venture agreement was signed between the Rajasthan government and HPCL in August. Earlier it was expected that the PM would lay the foundation stone in December, but it was postponed apparently to make the date as much as closer to the by-elections as possible.

The refinery will come up on nearly 12500 bigha land allotted in the name of a join company of the state government and HPCL. The land is close to a salt lake in Pachpadra.

Under the project, a crude oil pipeline (50-60 km in length) and a water pipeline (nearly 200 km in length) will be laid. With a capacity of producing 9 million metric ton oil per annum, the refinery will cost Rs 43,149 crore. HPCL’s share will be 75 percent, while rajasthan government’s equity will be 26 percent. The state government will pay Rs 3738 crore for its 26% equity. The government will give interest free loan (the viability gap funding) of Rs 16,845 crore to HPCL. The viability gap funding (VGF) will be Rs 3,736 crore annually. This will be paid over a period of five years by the government.

First published: January 5, 2018