Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dedicated to the nation an Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex of the public sector Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at the Kochi refinery.

He also laid the foundation stone for a petrochemical complex at the refinery and a skill development institute at Ettumanoor besides inaugurating a mounded storage vessel at the LPG bottling plant of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited in Kochi.

While addressing the gathering, Modi praised the Indian refinery industry for making a mark globally.

"India, which is the second largest oil refinery in Asia, is emerging as a refinery hub with refining more than its demand. The country's refining capacity is currently more than 247 million metric tonne per annum. I take this opportunity to congratulate all for the timely completion of IREP. The labourers are the real heroes of this project," Modi said.

"Today is a historic day when the largest industrial unit of Kerala is entering in next phase of development. It is indeed a proud moment not just for Kerala, but for the entire nation. BPCL has played a critical role in popularising the clean fuel LPG among masses in Kerala and neighbouring states for more than 50 years," he added.

He further praised BPCL’s Kochi refinery for running against all the odds in August 2018, when devastating floods hit Kerala.

The integrated refinery is a modern expansion complex and would transform the Kochi Refinery as the largest PSU refinery in the country with world-class standards.

It is equipped for production of cleaner fuels and will double the output of LPG and diesel and commence production of feedstock for petrochemical projects in the plant.

Mounded storage vessel, IOCL LPG Bottling Plant, inaugurated by Modi has a total storage capacity of 4350 MT.

Storage capacity at the plant was enhanced to meet the LPG requirement of nearly six days bottling capacity of the plant. It is considered the safest storage vessel is ensuring the highest level of safety for plant and adjacent areas.

LPG receipt through the pipeline will bring down movement of LPG tankers on roads. Petrochemical complex, BPCL Kochi refinery is a Make in India initiative aimed at reducing dependence on imports.

PM Modi was seen sharing the stage with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and governor P Sathasivam at Kochi BPCL's Integrated Refinery Expansion Complex.

The skill development institute at Ettumanoor backed by the Ministry of Petrochemical and Natural Gas will provide vocational training and enhance employability and entrepreneurship for deserving youth both in oil & gas and other industries.

This world-class institute was being set up at an eight-acre campus allocated by the state government and would have a capacity to skill around 1,000 youths annually in 20 different skills.