The petroleum ministry seems to be playing a balancing act between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. According to officials, the ministry is looking at setting up a petroleum university in Telangana, to be headed by the chief minister. Last week, Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekhar Rao was sworn in as the first chief minister.

Besides, the Centre is pushing state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) to do a feasibility study for a refinery on the eastern coast of Andhra Pradesh, where N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) took charge as the new chief minister.

“We were asked to expedite the Rs 60,000-crore petrochemical project in Vizag against the backdrop of the state formation,” confirmed B K Namdeo, director (refineries) at HPCL. The 15-million-tonne per annum (mtpa) refinery-cum-petrochemical complex would be built in association with Gail India. The meeting of environment impact assessment team for the project in the Visakhapatnam-Kakinada Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) is likely happen on June 12.

“We are mulling over the possibility of a petroleum university based out of Telangana. We have also asked HPCL to do a feasibility study for a new refinery in Andhra,” a ministry official added. Both the players are in talks with foreign as well as domestic companies such as IndianOil Corporation for partnership in the PCPIR project.

“There will be at least four partners in the project and the remaining two would be roped in once the detailed feasibility report is ready,” said Namdeo.

HPCL has already had talks with Saudi Basic Industries and a Kuwaiti delegation in this regard. HPCL has two refineries located in Mumbai (west coast) and Visakhapatnam (east coast) with capacities of 6.5 mt and 8.3 mt, respectively, churning out a wide range of petroleum products.