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ONGC's plan to merge MRPL with HPCL faces hurdles

Monday, 06 Sep 2021
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The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) plan to complete merger of its refining subsidiary Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) with recently acquired Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) to align its upstream and downstream operations into two verticals has got delayed.

The process is now expected to be completed by FY24 as ONGC's plan to consolidate its refining and petrochemicals business around MRPL first itself is taking a lot of time. The proposed merger will only follow this consolidation exercise.

As per the plan finalised earlier, MRPL may become a subsidiary of HPCL first. Under liberal assumptions, the merger could start in one-two years as ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals (OMPL) gets merged with MRPL by then. OMPL has now become 100 percent subsidiary of MRPL.

The Board of MRPL on 19 October 2020 had approved acquisition of 49 percent stake in OMPL from ONGC. This has paved the way for merging OMPL with MRPL. Once this is done, the next stage of merging MRPL with HPCL will begin.

OMPL, a subsidiary of MRPL, is a joint venture (JV) between ONGC and MRPL, set up for value addition of excess naphtha and aromatic streams available from MRPL refinery. The complex is the largest single stream unit in Asia to produce 914 kilo tpa Para-xylene and 283 kilo tpa Benzene.

MRPL is a subsidiary of ONGC and schedule 'A' Miniratna, Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. As of 31 December 2020, ONGC held 71.63 percent and HPCL held 16.96 percent stake in MRPL.

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