India petchem prospects strong despite near-term worries - execs

08 November 2011 19:02  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS)—Long-term prospects for Indian petrochemical demand are healthy despite the challenges that the economy faces in the near term, industry executives said on Tuesday.

“India’s strong economic fundamentals and robust domestic market are expected to partially offset the negatives facing the economy,” Warren Wilder, president, polymer business of Reliance Industries, said at the Indian Petrochem – 2011 conference.

Despite a bright economic outlook at the beginning of the year, GDP growth projections have been trimmed in recent months as a result of inflationary pressure and turbulence in the global economy. Inflation has been running at around 10% for most of the year and the Indian government has progressively tightened liquidity, which has slowed economic activity.

However, the economy is expected to rebound and consumption of petrochemicals is projected to hit 53.2m tonnes by 20162017 from 31.9m tonnes in 2011–2012.

Irrigation, water management, infrastructure, construction, health care and packaging are the key emerging areas for the petrochemicals industry, said Sidhartha Mitra, executive director of petrochemical at Indian Oil Corp (IOC).

Polyester fibre demand is expected to grow at 13%/year while demand for polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) is likely to expand at 1218%.

But supportive government policies would be needed, including a stable economic policy, containment of core inflation and speedy development of infrastructure, Mitra said.

IOC has plans to expand further in petrochemicals, he added. A styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) joint venture project  is due to be completed in Q1 2013. The stated-owned refiner is also exploring opportunities in the chemical segment by tapping stranded propylene from its refineries and utilizing C4 and C5 streams from its naphtha cracker at Panipat.

The Indian Petrochem – 2011 conference, organized by Elite Conferences and the Chemicals and Petrochemicals Manufacturers Association (CPMA), concludes on Wednesday.

By: Malini Hariharan
+65 6780 4359

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