Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

The Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) will increase its capacity from the existing 3 million metric tonnes (MMT) to 9 MMT, besides bringing 6 MMT crude oil to Assam from Odisha, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on May 27.

Addressing the media in Guwahati, Sarma said that after NRL brings crude oil from Paradeep in Odisha through pipeline, it would be refined in the state and then the oil will be exported to Bangladesh, Myanmar and other Indian states.

He said crude oil from Paradeep would substantially raise the capacity of the three refineries in Assam – Bongaigaon, Guwahati and NRL.

Earlier, Assam’s crude oil used to be sent to Barauni, but now 6 MMT crude oil would come to the state.

Accompanied by Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog, industry and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and minister for implementation of Assam Accord Atul Bora, the chief minister said that the capacity of NRL would be increased from the existing 3 MMT to 9 MMT by 2024 and the central government has given the necessary approval for this purpose.

He said the Assam government’s stake in the NRL would be augmented from the existing 12.35 per cent to 26 per cent, for which it would have to invest Rs 2,187 crore.

The Numaligarh Refinery was commissioned as per the provisions of the Assam Accord, signed after six years of agitation launched to eject “illegal immigrants” from the state.

Sarma said that currently the state government has been getting Rs 500 crore from the NRL as royalty and after its capacity enhancement, the royalty would be Rs 1,500 crore annually.

“We have to increase our non-tax revenue. The state can survive on its own earnings for four months. Hence, we have to depend on the share of central taxes, various central sector schemes and royalty from oil and gas.”

“We should keep on boosting oil and gas companies for the betterment of the future of the state. Oil and gas companies are contributing a large amount to the state’s economy,” the chief minister pointed out.

He said that several gas and oil-based projects would come up in Assam in the next few years and added that by using bamboo resources, ethanol would be produced in the NRL complex.

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