Indian Oil to build engineering plastic polymer plant in Panipat

30 March 2012 04:50  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ajoy K Das

PBT demand in India was rising on the growth of automobile industryKOLKATA (ICIS)--Indian Oil is planning to build a polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer plant to meet growing domestic and regional needs, a company official said on Friday.

“We will be appointing an agency to conduct market survey for domestic demand - in specific, the industry segments and export opportunities in Asian markets,” the official said.

“The survey report will be the basis of determining the plant size and investments in a project feasibility report for the final approval of the company board of directors,” the official added.

Once finalised, the plant will be located at the producer’s 15m tonne/year refinery at Panipat in northern India.

The refinery houses a petrochemical complex with a 553,000 tonne/year purified terephthallic acid (PTA) production facility, which uses naphtha supplied from the refinery. The company’s Mathura refinery is in close proximity.

Indian Oil was keen to leverage on the rising domestic consumption of PBT, which it estimated to be at 70,000 tonnes/year at present and will rise to 103,000 tonnes/year by 2015.

The demand for PBT grew in line with the rapid growth of Indian automobile, electrical equipment and consumer electronics industries, which are the major users of engineering plastics, the official said.

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Industries (SIAM), the Indian automobile industry was poised to grow by 11-13% in 2012-13 from current production levels at 17.92m vehicles, including 2.98m passenger cars, with the auto component industry growing from $26bn to $103bn over the next 10 years.

The consumer electronics industry was forecasted to grow by 18% from current levels at $22bn and electrical equipment manufacturing by 16.6% from $20bn, according to the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA).

Based on the consumption and demand projection data of the market survey and final plant capacity, Indian Oil will also consider exporting to Asia, where PBT demand has grown by 32% and projected to increase to 1.45m tonnes/year from 900,000 tonnes/year at present, 59% of which was accounted for by China, the official said.

Leading global PBT manufacturers include German-based BASF, Bayer, LANXESS and Lurgi Zimmer; DSM Engineering Plastics from the Netherlands, DuPont China, Saudi Arabian firm SABIC and Japanese producer Wintech Polymer.

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Ajoy K Das
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