IBM and HPCL to Deploy Path-Breaking RFID System

BANGALORE, INDIA /Marketwire/ -- IBM announced that it is implementing an innovative radio frequency identification (RFID)-based solution for Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL), a Fortune 500 company and a leading downstream petroleum organization (refining and marketing) in India. HPCL will leverage IBM's technology expertise to deploy an end-to-end tracking solution based on RFID technology at HPCL's Nashik plant. Signed in March 2008, this $2.2 million deal is one of the single largest implementations in India for RFID-based tracking solutions and involves infrastructure services, business consulting services and middleware solutions from IBM.

Under this agreement, IBM will design, deploy, and integrate the RFID solution for tracking LPG cylinders from plant to the end-consumer. The solution will streamline the process of identification of LPG cylinders during bottling, distribution, and supply chain and is expected to cover 500,000 cylinders in the initial phase. HPCL intends to evaluate the technology and deploy the same in a phased manner to cover the entire supply chain from bottling plant, logistics, and distributors to the end-consumers.

Commenting on the project, G A Shirwaikar, Executive Director-LPG, HPCL, said, "This RFID-based cylinder-tracking project is the first of its kind in India. Considering the magnitude of our operations, which continues to grow significantly, it has become imperative for us to bring greater efficiencies in our supply chain. We aim to achieve this with our new RFID-based tracking solution. We are happy to partner with IBM, as their global expertise in deploying such solutions would help HPCL strengthen its supply chain of LPG cylinders end-to-end and finally result in significant operational benefits for the organization. We also expect to roll out this solution to other plants in India (an additional 42) besides extending it to dealers for an integrated supply chain."

"IBM is committed to build capabilities to address some very unique business challenges faced by Indian enterprises. We are very excited about the RFID implementation at HPCL and especially the fact that this solution covers the entire supply chain of HPCL's very significant LPG business. The energy sector is seeing a tremendous growth in India, and we believe that a unique solution like this will help market leaders like HPCL improve their operational efficiencies while strengthening their competitive edge in the market," said Nipun Mehrotra, Vice-President and General Manager, Global Technology Services, IBM India/South Asia.

Through its RFID-based asset tracking solutions, IBM helps clients across the world improve their operational efficiencies using its wide range of RFID tracking solutions for different industries. IBM also has thirteen worldwide RFID Solution Centers, which offer a combination of RFID technical expertise, practical assessment and implementation services, and industry-leading innovative solutions that place IBM among the leaders in RFID-technology solutions.

About HPCL
HPCL, a Fortune 500 company, with strong market infrastructure, has an annual turnover of over Rs 1,03,837 Cr ($25,142 million) and market sales of 22.18 MMT in India. The corporation operates two major refineries, producing a wide variety of petroleum fuels & specialities, one in Mumbai (West Coast) of 5.5 MMTPA capacity and the other in Vishakapatnam (East Coast), with a capacity of 7.5 MMTPA. HPCL holds an equity stake of 16.95% in Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd., a state-of-the-art refinery at Mangalore, with a capacity of 9 MMTPA. In addition, HPCL is progressing toward setting up a refinery of 9 MMTPA in the state of Punjab.

About IBM
A pioneer in sensor technology and a leader in IT and business strategy, IBM offers sensor and actuator solutions that unlock new business value and help drive new insights and innovation. For more information on IBM's RFID solutions, visit the company's Web site.