S. Thangapandian, Chief Executive Officer of Essar Oil UK, takes time out for ‘India Global Business’ to explain why the company is investing heavily in its Stanlow Refinery in Britain and the story behind turning a loss-making unit into a promising asset.

What are the company's investment plans for the UK?

Essar Oil (UK) Ltd, which owns and operates the Stanlow Refinery, will be investing further $250 million in the refinery. We have already invested over $800 million to turn around the business since we acquired the Stanlow refinery. This reaffirms the group’s commitments to stay invested in core sectors. These investments will ramp up the throughput from 68 million bpd to 75 million bpd.

Investment will also deliver enhanced yields of high value products, reduce crude costs and drive revenue growth.

Steadfast support from the public at large is likely to see Adani's $16.1-billion mining project, India’s largest outbound FDI, through the hurdles.

There appears to be some sort of jinx revolving around projects carrying the twin labels of “largest FDI” and “India." Remember Dabhol?

The power project by the now bankrupt US company Enron in Maharashtra was the largest inward foreign direct investment (FDI) project at the time. After several false starts, it is finally limping along as the Ratnagiri Power Company, in its latest, public sector avatar.

Resource-poor but demand-rich Indian companies are prospecting and mining natural resources such as coal, oil & gas and other minerals at locations as far apart as Indonesia, Africa, Australia and the US to feed their factories back home.

Here’s a trivia question: Which Indian company has a presence, in one form or another, in Audi, BMW, Porsche, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Ferrari, Jaguar and Hyundai cars?

Don’t let the presence of Jaguar on that list fool you. The answer is not Tata. It is that other name that is often taken in the same breath as the Tatas in India – Birla… or, to be more precise, the Aditya Birla group-owned aluminium company Novelis.

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