05 September 1994 00:00 [Source: ICB]
RELIANCE INDUSTRIES has reached an agreement with ICI Chemicals and Polymers to license ICI's PTA technology for the second time.
The plant, which will have a capacity of 350 000 tonne/year, will be similar in design to ICI's own plant in Taiwan. The unit will be built at the company's Hazira site near Surat, north of Bombay, and is scheduled for completion in 1995.
Engineering will be carried out by John Brown Engineers and Constructors in the UK and Davy Powergas in Bombay.
Back in 1985, ICI licensed Reliance its PTA technology for an over 250 000 tonne/year plant at Patalganga, Bombay. Reliance confirmed to ECN last year it was in talks with ICI for the second unit (ECN 12 April 1993).
The PTA plant will form part of an integrated polyester expansion at the site. In a related move, last month Reliance signed a memorandum of understanding with Hoechst in Germany and Hoechst Celanese in the US to study the feasibility of setting up a joint venture for the production of polyester technical fibres at Hazira. Initially the product would be used in the manufacture of tyre cord, as reinforcement for conveyor belts and other mechanical rubber goods, and in fabrics.
Local sources say the venture will be split 50:50 Hoechst/Reliance, and that it will be Reliance's first large-scale equity venture with a foreign partner. The company already has an alliance with Japan's Itochu Corp for polyethylene and polypropylene.
Hoechst Celanese says the polyester venture would give it access to the Indian and Far Eastern markets. Hoechst in Germany has already revealed it is holding talks with IPCL for an hdPE venture in India (ECN 28 March), after confirming it had pulled out of the PIL project (ECN 14 March, page 5).
Last year, ICI India formed a strategic alliance with Reliance for polyesters (ECN 13 September 1993, page 4).
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