IOC to invest 1268 cr to set up coker unit in Odisha

07 September 2020

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) recently said that its board has approved an investment of Rs 1,268 crore for setting up a needle coker unit at the firm's Paradip refinery in Odisha. 

"The proposed unit will have a Calcined Needle Coke (CNC) production capacity of 56-kilo tonnes per annum. The estimated project cost is Rs. 1,268 crore," IOC said in a statement.

With the production of CNC, IOC shall enter this niche product segment for the first time. CNC is used to produce graphite electrodes for deployment in high temperatures (2,800 degrees Centigrade) electric arc furnaces of the steel industry.

IOC Chairman S M Vaidya said the proposed unit will enhance refinery margins. "This needle coker unit is yet another significant step by Indian Oil towards de-risking the uncertainty in the petroleum oil business," he said.

Presently, the entire needle coke requirement of the country (80-100 kilotonnes per annum) is met through imports. Production of needle coke at Paradip refinery will reduce import dependency and would contribute to the vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', IOC said.

Needle coke is a substitute for natural graphite and offers higher quality consistency. With technological advancements, needle coke is now used to make carbon anode of Lithium-ion batteries. As electric vehicle (EV) transportation is emerging as a viable option, the production of needle coke (anode for Li-ion battery) would add to the quest for self-reliance in India. This project can also be replicated at other Indian refineries that process low-sulfur-feed as a margin improvement initiative, it said.