India-Russia JV to commission TiO2 plant in Q4 09

09 January 2008 15:32  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--The Indo-Russian titanium joint venture plans to commission its 40,000 tonne/year titanium dioxide (TiO2) plant at in Gopalpur in Orissa state in the fourth quarter of 2009, an official from the Indian company said on Wednesday.

The joint venture of India’s Saraf Agencies, Russia's state-run Vnesheconombank and Russian chemical trader Technochim Holding would source ilmenite feedstock from Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL), the official told ICIS news.

"The final contract for raw material would be signed by the beginning of February," he added.

Saraf Agencies holds a 45% stake in the joint venture, with the remaining 55% being owned by Russian government, represented by three ministries, and Technochim Holding, the official said.

In the first phase, the companies would invest about Indian rupees (Rs) 12bn ($306.7m) to set up the TiO2 plant, he said.

“In the second phase, we would set up a 10,000 tonne/year titanium sponge plant, which would be commissioned by the fourth quarter of 2010,” he added.

According to the terms of contract, 75% of the TiO2 produced would be exported to Russia with the remainder sold in the domestic market, he said.

Russia's Ti02 demand is estimated at about 55,000 tonne/year, of which around 80% is imported, mainly from Ukraine.

According to media reports, the Indo-Russian titanium project had hit a roadblock due to IREL’s refusal to enter a long-term supply contract with the promoters of the project.

IREL had said that it would supply the feedstock at market price and on the terms that it extends to other customers.

The company official, however, declined to comment on this issue.

($1 = Rs39.30)

By: Isha Jha
+65 6780 4359

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