The Assam government has raised its stake in Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to 26% from the initial level of 12.35%, said chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma at a media conference on Thursday.

“Govt of Assam today raised its stake in NRL to 18.59%; another 7.41% shall be acquired in near future. Total investment of Rs 2,187 cr will be the highest ever investment by Govt of Assam in any PSU,” Sarma said.

The Assam Government has made a total investment of Rs 2,187 crore, which is the highest ever in history, by the Assam government in any PSU, in NRL. The stakes were bought by Oil India Limited on behalf of the government in March and the Assam government to reclaim it with three installments.

Numaligarh Refinery, popularly known as “Accord Refinery” is the largest among the four refineries operating in Assam. The refinery was set up as per Clause 7 of Assam Accord signed in 1985.

The refinery was commissioned in the year 2000 and since then consistently excelling in physical and financial performance. NRL was a subsidiary of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL).

With the decision of the centre to privatize BPCL, NRL’s status as a Public Sector Enterprise was slated to be lost. To retain the public sector characteristics of the NRL, the Assam government accordingly took up the matter with the centre and decided to raise its stake in NRL to 26% from the initial level of 12.35%.

“In its persistent effort to retain the PSU status of @NRL_MoPNG, Govt of Assam has committed to raising its stake in NRL to 26% from 12.35%. Restructuring the equity stake, 61.65% share owned by @BPCLimited shall be sold to @OilIndiaLimited, Govt of Assam & @EngineersIND” the chief minister’s office stated in a series of tweets.

On the other hand, chief minister Sarma said crude pipeline from Paradeep, Odisha will substantially raise the capacity of the three refineries in Assam.

“Earlier, Assam’s crude oil used to be sent to Barauni, but now 6 MMT crude will come to Assam,” Dr Sarma said at the presser.

Along with the chief minister, finance minister Ajanta Neog, industry and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and Minister for implementation of Assam Accord, Atul Bora also attended the press meet.