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Top Indian refiner IOC to raise Barauni processing capacity by 50%

A logo of Indian Oil is picture outside a fuel station in New Delhi, India August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, will invest 137.79 billion rupees ($1.94 billion) to expand the capacity of its Barauni refinery in eastern Bihar state by 50% to 180,000 barrels per day by April 2023, the company said on Friday.

The state-run company is raising its refining capacity to meet growing demand for petroleum products in the country.

India has emerged as a bright spot for refined fuel demand.

Refined fuel consumption - a proxy for oil demand - in the December quarter rose 2.6% from a year earlier.

India’s oil demand growth is set to overtake China by mid-2020s, priming the country for more refinery investment but making it more vulnerable to supply disruption in the Middle East, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said earlier this month.

Indian Oil Corp reported a threefold rise in third-quarter profit on Thursday, mainly due to inventory gains.

($1 = 71.0700 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Nidhi Verma in New Delhi and Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu