Mongol is rising! 

(By..Our Foreign Correspondent) In the heart of the Gobi desert, where harsh terrain swings temperatures- ranging from 42 degree Celsius to minus 36 degree Celsius- the first oil refinery of Mongolia is completing its first phase. 

The land-locked quiet place, populated by merely 25,000 people, is rapidly transforming into an oil hub under the Development Partnership Administration (DPA) initiative of the Government of India. 

“The 1.5-mtpa refinery, implemented by Mongol Refinery State Owned LLC at Altanshree Soum in the Dornogobi (East Gobi) is less than 18 months away to flow the first gasoline and LPG,” says an industry observer, adding that “the first EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) package of the project, is being completed.”

The first of the four EPC packages is being implemented by the JMC Projects India under the impeccable project management of the Engineers India Ltd (EIL). The first phase of this prestigious G2G project entails four main stages: preparatory work, blueprint development, procurement and construction. 

“To be more precise,” says the observer, “construction of water storage tank, first-aid and hospital building, office and training centre,  cafeteria, laboratory , warehouse, firefighting unit, repair facility,  drainage systems,  floodwater harvesting area, electric power transmission line are the key activities in this first phase. About 650 people and 200 state-of-the-art equipment have been deployed to fast track the job.”

Importantly, the EPC-2 and EPC-3 have also been awarded and the work is in full swing. Both EPCs have been bagged by the Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering & Infrastures India Ltd (MEIL), which will construct this iconic project. 

The EPC-2 will have Open Art units, Utilities & Offsites and Plant Buildings while EPC-3 will set up Captive Power Plants. The EIL, which was awarded with the job of Project Management Consultant in February 2019 following its submission of the feasibility report, is reported to have worked in a lightning speed even in the face of harsh climatic conditions. 

“ This is one of the most prestigious G2G projects, we are proud to be associated with. Our team is very excited and fully committed to see the project go on steam as per schedule.” Ms Shukla has further pointed out that “EIL has been exploring innovative technological solutions and novel ideas to achieve successful completion of this iconic refinery.”-CMD of EIL, Ms Vartika Shukla

According to the EIL, the fourth and last EPC which will include acquisition of the corresponding rights and permissions from large-scale companies in the petrochemical industry is also being finalised and the job will be awarded shortly. 

Sources said , the license holders for patented technology works of EPC-4 and relevant contracts have been finalised with leading corporations in the petrochemical industry, such as KT – Kinetics Technology, UOP Honeywell, and Axens Solutions.

The sources further said the EPC-4 package will also go to an Indian company which has quoted lowest in the bid at USD 600 million while the highest bidder, a consortium of two companies, stands at USD 800 million. 

The USD 1.8 billion grassroot project is being constructed after it had received a soft loan from the EXIM Bank of India. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while visiting Mongolia in May 2015 (the first time by any Indian PM), said India would provide a line of credit of USD 1 billion to help the country foster growth and prosper. 

The project, which is seen to be a major diplomatic outreach programme initiated by both the governments, is going to cater to the demands of Mongolia for diesel, gasoline, LPG etc.  Currently, the country is importing its entire petroleum products from Russia, China, South Korea, Australia and the US.

Interestingly,  Mongolia, which has large onshore oil reserves, exported crude oil worth USD 274 million in 2021, making it the 61st largest exporter in the world. And At the same year, oil was the 6th most exported product in Mongolia.

The Mongol project, when completed,  will be able to cater to the 70 per cent of domestic consumption in Mongolia.  The crude for the refinery will come from  Tamsag basin and an oil pipeline is being constructed by the Chinese company- Norinho International Corporation which is passing through Matad soum at Dornod aimag to the oil refinery site in Altanshiree soum.

The place, where stormy winds only speak, will have the cacophony of economic activities by 2025 and it will stand as a testimony to the India’s collaborative approach for all-inclusive development. 

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