InterviewAPIC '10: Indian Oil eyes making pipe grade PE - VIDEO

14 May 2010 03:29  [Source: ICIS news]

By Prema Viswanathan

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is looking at producing high end polyethylene (PE) such as PE 80 and 100 pipe grades at its newly-started cracker complex at Panipat when market conditions are favourable, a company executive said on Friday.

“There are several gas distribution projects coming up in the country, especially in north Indian cities, which will create additional demand for pipe grade PE and we are waiting for these to take off before switching to this grade,” said S Mitra, IOC’s general manager for petrochemicals, on the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2010 in Mumbai.

The company is also looking at diversifying into high-end high density polyethylene (HDPE) film as demand picks up, he said.

“Right now, our focus is on [commodity] grades such as linear low density PE (LLDPE) film, roto moulding grades, high density PE (HDPE) raffia and injection moulding grades where demand is high. LLDPE film, in fact, constitutes 65% of the Indian PE market, so this will be a priority grade,” Mitra told ICIS news.

IOC’s 650,000-tonne/year PE facility is expected to stabilise production by next week, he said. “There have been some issues related to the temperature and moisture content, which we expect to be resolved in the next four days,” he said.

The company’s 600,000-tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant at Panipat in Haryana state, which achieved on-spec production in early May, would start producing raffia grade shortly, Mitra said.

“Right now, we are only producing injection moulding grade but we will switch to raffia soon,” he said. Higher end grades such as random and impact copolymer PP were also targeted for production in the next few months, he said.

IOC’s 857,000-tonne/year cracker, which was commissioned in March, and downstream plants, is running at 70% capacity, Mitra said. “As we ramp up our capacity to full rates, we will evaluate and decide on the proportion of the PE and PP grades,” he said.

Other major Indian PE and PP producers include Reliance Industries, Haldia Petrochemicals and GAIL (India).

The two-day APIC conference ends on 14 May.

Additional reporting by Malini Hariharan

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By: Prema Viswanathan
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