India's Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) hopes to restructure its debt liabilities by March in a bid to cut high interest costs, a senior official said yesterday.

The $1.2-billion HPL project, which began commercial production last August 1, has been mainly funded by debt worth $960 million.

High interest costs on this debt have been a major source of worry for HPL's promoters - the West Bengal government, the Soros-Chatterjee Group and the Tata business group.

"We hope to complete the debt restructuring by next month," Managing Director Richard Saldanha told reporters on the sidelines of a business conference in Kolkata.

Saldanha said HPL needed funds to increase its equity component, but did not elaborate.

Last month, the West Bengal government announced that the Soros-Chatterjee business group, which holds 43 per cent of HPL's equity of $240 million, would assume management control of the debt-laden HPL.

HPL chairman Tarun Das told Reuters in January that the 14 per cent stake of the Tatas in Haldia Petrochemicals would be bought by the West Bengal government and then transferred to the Soros-Chatterjee group.