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RIL to source ethane annually from US

Posted on Aug 21 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Aug 20 : Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) Wednesday announced plans to source 1.5 million metric tonnes of ethane a year from the US to attain feedstock supply for its crackers.

"The shale gas industry in north America has grown exponentially in the past five years. As a result, ethane has become the dominant feedstock for crackers replacing liquids. Reliance's investments in shale gas and its existing crackers portfolio in India are a natural fit for sourcing ethane from north America and shipping it to India to attain long-term feedstock competitiveness," the company said in a statement.

RIL has executed storage and capacity agreements for liquefaction and export of ethane with a north American terminal, which is expected to commence operations in the second half of 2016, the company said.

For transporting liquefied ethane to India, Reliance has ordered six Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs), which will be the largest vessels ever built in the world, the statement added.

The ships are expected to be delivered starting last quarter of 2016 in synchronisation with the readiness of the terminal in north America.

The company is also building a world-scale receiving and storage facility in India for liquefied ethane and pipeline to deliver ethane to its crackers.

Reliance said it will be upgrading its crackers to maximise cracking of ethane, have maximum operational flexibility and capability to optimise feedstocks with complete control of supply chain.

"The project will significantly improve the long-term competitiveness of our cracker portfolio through dedicated feedstock, enhanced margins, higher capacity and end-to-end integration," said RIL, which has already substantially invested in shale gas in the US.

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