<p>After a delay of close to 6 years, Essar Oil's Jamnagar refinery
has finally begun production. The plant started trial production
with a capacity of 7.5 million tonnes per annum of crude and the
company expects to attain production at full capacity in the next two
quarters, a company statement said. "We are delighted at the
successful commissioning of the refinery at a time when India is
strengthening its presence in global markets and integrating with the
global economy," chairman of Essar Group Shashi Ruia said. </p>
<p>The company, which faced a massive cost overrun due to the delay in
commissioning _ said its project cost of Rs 10,826 crore is extremely
competitive and lower than estimated costs for a green field refinery.
</p> <p>Essar Oil had came out with one of India's biggest initial
public offer of shares in the early nineties and most of its investors
saw their capital eroding. Financial institutions, which had lent
funds to the company, had to take
a huge cut in interest to salvage the project. Both Reliance and
Essar started work at jamnagar at the same time but Reliance started
production on the scheduled date while Essar blamed a cyclone for the
delay in the commissioning of the project. </p> <div>Essar Oil's
refinery is supported by dedicated infrastructure that includes
utilities, terminals, crude intake and product evacuation facilities.
The company plans to sell its products through its 900 retail outlets
and expects to grow its 1,500 outlets by the end of March 2007.
</div> <div> </div> <p>-- <br>Brip </p>