RIL withdraws Jamnagar refinery’s EoU status; to sell fuel in domestic markets

Reliance Industries LtdFollowing the recent withdrawal of the export-oriented unit (EoU) status of Jamnagar refinery, a move facilitating the sale of its products in the domestic market, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is expected to get on with it selling fuel in the country, next week onwards.

RIL's decision to go in for a change in status of the refinery is reported to have come in the wake of a nosedive in the prices of international crude and petroleum product. The drop in prices has reduced the company's its export realization, thereby indicating lower margins.

The news about the conversion of status of RIL's first refinery - with an annual production capacity of 33 million tonnes - at Jamnagar, after seeking the obligatory approvals, has been corroborated by industry sources. The changed status, from an EOU to normal, takes effect from Thursday.

The refinery in Jamnagar, which was built by RIL in July 1999, was converted into an EoU in April 2007 - the staus brought along tax concessions including income-tax exemption only on exports. The conversion of status frees RIL from the obligation of exporting the entire refinery produce, though it may still continue to export certain products like jet fuel.

As a precursor to selling fuel at its retail outlets, RIL has already commenced pre-commissioning activities; and is also in talks with public sector fuel retailers.