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USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS REFINERY SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY IN INDIA

BPCL Director-Refineries and Board Member Raj K. Singh (seated left) and U.S. Consul General Paul Folmsbee (seated right) sign the USTDA grant agreement that will fund technical assistance to BPCL on an asset integrity management program.
BPCL Director-Refineries and Board Member Raj K. Singh (seated left) and U.S. Consul General Paul Folmsbee (seated right) sign the USTDA grant agreement that will fund technical assistance to BPCL on an asset integrity management program.

NEW DELHI, INDIA (August 29, 2008) – As part of its ongoing commitment to the U.S.-India Energy Dialogue, USTDA awarded a grant today to the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) for technical assistance related to an asset integrity management program. The grant will be used to introduce the company to a wide range of advanced safety technologies and inspection methodologies to minimize the risks and vulnerabilities of BPCL’s petroleum refinery and pipeline operations.

The $370,000 grant was conferred during a signing ceremony held at BPCL’s Corporate Offices in Mumbai. The U.S. Consul General in Mumbai, Mr. Paul Folmsbee, and BPCL Director-Refineries and Board Member, Mr. Raj K. Singh, signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. Government and BPCL, respectively. Other senior officials from BPCL and the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai were also present at the event.

BPCL is a large Indian public sector company with its core business in refining crude oil and marketing petroleum products. Asset integrity management is a comprehensive strategy employed by the international petroleum industry to maintain the safety and integrity of refinery and pipeline facilities. Advanced inspection technologies that are employed beyond visual inspection and that are utilized while the asset remains in-service are both cost effective and more reliable, and minimize the operational downtime otherwise required for the inspection of system components using older methodologies.

The USTDA grant awarded today will fund an examination of BPCL’s refinery in Mumbai and training for BPCL personnel on a comprehensive strategy for evaluating risk to petroleum refineries and related facilities. The technical assistance program will also demonstrate a wide range of advanced technologies available from U.S. firms.

The U.S. – India Energy Dialogue was launched in 2005 to promote increased trade and investment in the energy sector by working with the public and private sectors to further identify areas of cooperation and collaboration. USTDA has supported a broad range of energy activities designed to advance the Dialogue’s objectives. Since 2005, USTDA has provided over $3 million, and leveraged more than an additional $1 million, in funding for project studies, not only in refinery process modernization, but also in coal bed methane development and alternate coal mining technology, as well as technical assistance in the development of new regulatory structures for India’s expanding oil and gas industries.

The opportunity to provide assistance to BPCL under the USTDA grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. BPCL will select the U.S. firm that will provide the assistance associated with the USTDA grant.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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