Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated to the nation integrated Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) refinery expansion complex, built at a cost of Rs 16,504-crore - the single-largest investment in Kerala.
Arriving at Kochi, around 2 p.m, he reached the Cochin Refinery venue near here and first unveiled the most modern integrated refinery expansion complex and then laid the foundation stone for a petrochemical complex, which is a complete "Make in India" initiative aimed at reducing dependence on imports.
At the same venue, he also dedicated the Mounded Storage Vessel of the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and also remotely laid the foundation stone for a Skill Development Institute, promoted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, to come up at Ettumannor in Kottayam district.
Earlier, before inaugurating the project, he briefly went around the factory and interacted with the staff and also joined in a photo session with the employees.
Addressing the large gathering, Modi said the new phase of development of BPCL is not going to benefit just Kerala but the entire country.
"The BPCL has been providing the green fuel for more than 50 years. I remember that in my childhood, I saw many mothers struggling with firewood. Today, we have provided a healthy kitchen. Since May 2016, six crore LPG connections to the poorest of the poor have been given and in all 23 crore LPG consumers have benfited. The Cochin Refinery has played a major role in this all," said Modi.
The Prime Minister, however, said the real heroes of this project are the 20,000 employees who worked day and night to complete this project on time.
"With the new project and the other projects that are coming up, Kochi will benefit as several ancillary industries will be able to come up here," added Modi.
Since Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's travel from Kozhikode to Kochi got delayed due to a snag in the Naval aircraft, he could not reach the airport here to receive Modi, but later reached the venue of the inauguration on time.
Vijayan pointed out that the Kerala government has always been in the forefront to provide land for petrochemical projects to companies in the public sector.
"We have always believed in strengthening the central public sector and we have always provided tax benefits for such projects," said Vijayan.