Kochi Refinery, a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), embarked on its journey in 1966 with a capacity of 50,000 barrels per day. Formerly known as Cochin Refineries Limited and later renamed as Kochi Refineries Limited, the refinery was originally established as a joint venture in collaboration with Phillips Petroleum Corporation, USA. Today it is a frontline entity as a unit of the Fortune 500 company, BPCL.
Kochi Refinery, located at Ambalamugal near the city of Kochi in Kerala, is one of the two Refineries of BPCL, presently having a crude oil refining capacity of 9.5 Million Metric Tonnes per Annum (MMTPA). The product portfolio of the 190,000 barrels per day refinery today includes petrochemical feedstocks and specialty products in addition to its range of quality fuels.
Fuel products of this fuel based refinery includes Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Naphtha, Motor Spirit, Kerosene, Aviation Turbine Fuel, High Speed Diesel, Fuel Oils and Asphalt. Specialty products for the domestic markets include Benzene, Toluene, Propylene, Special Boiling Point Spirit, Mineral Turpentine Oil, Sulphur and Hydrogen.
Kochi Refinery has integrated the three Management Systems viz.ISO 9001:2008 based Quality Management System, ISO 14001:2004 based Environmental Management System and OHSAS 18001:2007 based Occupational Health and Safety Management System in 2011. The Refinery has also obtained the ISO 17025 (Testing Methods in Quality Control) certification from NABL (National Accreditation Board for testing & Calibration of Laboratories).
With the prestigious Crude Oil receipt facilities consisting of the Single Point Mooring (SPM) and the associated shore tank farm in place since December 2007, the refinery is equipped to receive crude oil in Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs). This facility helps Kochi refinery in reducing the freight charges to a great extent, over and above increasing flexibility in crude oil selection. This, thereby, is a major infrastructure facility to accelerate the future growth of Kochi Refinery.
The refinery has facilities to evacuate products to the consuming centres through road, rail, ships and through pipelines. All the major industries in the area are connected to the refinery for product receipt. The BPCL installation at Irumpanam, to which the refinery is connected by pipelines, is the major product distribution centre of the refinery. Petronet CCK, a joint venture company of BPCL looks after the 300 km long pipeline that connects the refinery to various consumption points in Tamil Nadu such as Coimbatore and Karur.
Of the two-part Capacity Expansion cum Modernisation Project (Phase–II), the capacity expansion to 9.5 MMTPA has been successfully completed and refinery modernisation slated for completion in August 2010 would equip the refinery to produce auto-fuels conforming to Euro-III and partly Euro-IV specifications.
Kochi Refinery has presently embarking on the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project which would increase the refining capacity of KR from 9.5 MMTPA to 15.5 MMTPA and improve the auto-fuel quality to Euro-IV/V levels to meet the growing demand of petroleum products in Indian market. This would also upgrade the refinery residue stream to value added distillates and create synergy for future diversification into value added petrochemical products.
The refinery's foray into direct marketing began since 1993 through marketing of its aromatic products - Benzene and Toluene. The entry into the international petroleum business stream began with its first parcel of Fuel Oil exported in January 2001. Since then the refinery, has earned the reputation as a reliable player in the international trade, by virtue of superior product quality and customer service. Moreover, the Fuel Oil has been benchmarked in the Singapore and Dubai Fuel Oil markets.
Kochi Refinery is situated in Kochi, the most happening city in Kerala that is rightly called God’s own country. The refinery has a unique bond with its environment which is evident in the green blanket so carefully nourished right around it. The refinery has been blessed with a fine topography and the entire complex, spreading across over thousand two hundred acres has been so constructed as to blend naturally with it. Upcoming expansions and developments would also adhere to this philosophy of blending with nature. The most recent addition to the refinery architecture is the rainwater harvesting pond and eco-park that has been converted to a must-see spot with sprawling landscaped lawns and thatched canopies for conferences and get-togethers. Year after year the refinery has been bagging accolades for its commitment to the environment; for the all round care for the environment, the judicious storage, use and reuse of water, the efficiency in managing solid wastes and effluents and the care taken to keep the atmosphere clean.
The recent achievement of 36 million accident free man-hours stands testimony to the fact that the prime focus of Kochi Refinery is on safety in everything we do. From training to retraining, and adhering to international standards in safety practices, both, offsite and onsite, Kochi Refinery has taken it as a mission to make safe living and working a natural mantra of its employees, contract workers, customers and the general public. Several awareness programmes have been successfully conducted to this effect with the results for all to see.
As a socially responsible corporate citizen, the community welfare initiatives of the refinery concentrate on developing the weaker sections of society, particularly, the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and people below the poverty line in important sectors like health, education, housing and women empowerment. Most of the programmes falling under the categories of medical and educational assistance turned out to be poverty alleviation measures also. This is since the programmes like universal health insurance, scholarship to SC/ST students and medical camps for poor have helped the poor villagers in the refinery vicinity to save money over their medical expenses and educational expenses of children. Various people intensive small-scheme community development programmes have brought new life for many; be it poor villagers in need of medical treatment; poor students in government schools or differently abled children!
Thus, apart from maintaining its world class standards in operational excellence, the singular objective of Kochi Refinery is to uphold the BPCL vision of energizing lives by continued excellence in all round performance with new ideas, added vigour and sustained commitment to its social, cultural, organizational and natural environment.