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Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL), formerly known as Madras Refineries Limited (MRL) was formed as a joint venture in 1965 between the Government of India (GOI), AMOCO and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) having a share holding in the ratio 74%, 13% and 13% respectively.
From the grassroots stage, CPCL refinery was set up with an installed capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum (MMTPA) in a record time of 27 months at a cost of Rs 43 crore without any time or cost over run.
In 1985, AMOCO disinvested its stake in favour of the GOI and the shareholding percentage of GOI and NIOC stood revised at 84.62% and 15.38% respectively. Later GOI disinvested 16.92% of the paid up capital in favour of Unit Trust of India, mutual funds, insurance companies and banks on 19th May 1992, thereby reducing its holding to 67.7%.
The public issue of CPCL shares at a premium of Rs 70 (Rs 90 to FIIs) in 1994 was over subscribed to an extent of 27 times and added a large shareholder base of over 90,000. As a part of the restructuring steps taken up by the Government of India, Indian Oil Corporation acquired equity from GOI in 2000–01.
Currently IOC holds 51.88% while NIOC continued its holding at 15.40%.
CPCL has two refineries with a combined refining capacity of 10.5 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA). The Manali Refinery has a capacity of 9.5 MMTPA and is one of the most complex refineries in India with fuel, lube, wax and petrochemical feedstock production facilities.
The company's second refinery is located in the Cauvery Basin at Nagapattinam. The initial unit was set up with a capacity of 0.5 MMTPA in 1993 and later on its capacity was enhanced to 1.0 MMTPA.
The commissioning of the 3 MMTPA expansion cum modernization project enabled CPCL to meet the auto fuel quality norms of Bharat Stage II & Euro III equivalent.
The main products of the company are LPG, motor spirit, superior kerosene, aviation turbine fuel, high speed diesel, naphtha, bitumen, lube base stocks, paraffin wax, fuel oil, hexane and petrochemical feed stocks.
The wax plant at CPCL has an installed capacity of 30,000 tonnes per annum, which is designed to produce paraffin wax for manufacture of candle wax, waterproof formulations and match wax. A propylene plant with a capacity of 17,000 tonnes per annum was commissioned in 1988 to supply petrochemical feedstock to neighbouring downstream industries.
The unit was revamped to enhance the propylene production capacity to 30,000 tonnes per annum in 2004. CPCL also supplies LABFS to a downstream unit for manufacture of Liner Alkyl Benzene.
The company exported Lube Oil Base Stock (LOBS) for the first time to Sri Lanka for commissioning the Lube Blending Plant of Lanka IOC during the year 2007–08. The board of directors has recommended a dividend of 170% on the paid up capital and thereby maintained the uninterrupted payment of dividends for the past thirty five years, from the third year of its operations.
In 2010 CPCL CBR bagged ''Award for TPM Excellence, category A'' indicating that TPM is implemented for all the 8 pillars excellently in entire CBR by JAPAN Institute of Plant Maintenance(JIPM) during January 28, 2010.'