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Reliance Industries



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D The refinery rises out of the desert like a distant metropolis Employing upwards of 200 000 people and consisting of a complex of facilities that rivals London proper in size it is in some sense its own metropolis The Reliance Industries refinery 20 miles outside the city of Jamnagar in northwestern India will be the world s largest refinery when it is completed later this summer Its skyline dominates the arid plains stretching from one end of the horizon to the other Designed and built from the ground up in two major construction phases over the last decade it may well usher in a new era of scale efficiency and integration in refining if not the oil industry as a whole In a passenger van driving towards the refinery crowded with workers I somewhat in awe at seeing that expanse of metal and concrete for the first time said to no one in particular It is the biggest in the world Ah the man next to me replied It is the greatest Jamnagar pronounced jahm na gar a port city of half a million is located along an inlet of the Arabian Sea just over 500 miles south of the Persian Gulf Crude oil from the Middle East destined for India China Singapore Japan and the western United States the paramount geographies of current and anticipated fuel consumption travel in established shipping lanes just off the coast from Jamnagar a geo economic fact not lost on Reliance Industries when they decided to construct the first global refinery here in 1995 1 Elsewhere renovations have steadily increased the output of a handful of key refineries enabling a growing class of refineries to orient their production past local demand to more profitable destinations around the globe These expansions remain however prohibitively costly and ultimately constrained by the initial scope of the refinery The Reliance Industries refinery in Jamnagar is the first refinery in the world designed and constructed for a planetary market Among the world s largest refineries only Reliance Industries



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