India chlor-alkali industry to grow by 7% in ‘12 on strong demand

22 June 2012 07:43  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s chlor-alkali industry is expected to grow by 7% in 2012, driven by strong demand, a company official said on Friday.

Robust economy and rising population will propel higher chlor-alkali consumption, Rajesh Deshpande, from Finolex Industries, said.

India’s chlor-alkali industry is set to climb new heights in the near term,” he said in a presentation at the 16th World Chlor-alkali Conference (21/22 June), organised by ICIS and Tecnon OrbiChem.

Indian economy is expected to grow by 7% in 2012, while low levels of current per-capita chlor-alkali consumption suggest a “huge potential” for chlor-alkali growth and an excellent opportunity to produce chlorine derivatives, he added.

Besides, government-driven incentives are expected to boost competitiveness.

For instance, state intervention on import duty on coal imports is expected to help the industry produce power at competitive prices.

Other drivers of growth in the chlor-alkali industry in India include abundant salt reserves and high growth rates in the downstream markets of alumina (10%), pulp and paper (4%) and textiles (12%).

India’s total caustic soda supply is estimated at 3.1m tonnes per year – 2.74m tonnes of chlorine, - accounting for around 4% of the world’s capacity.

Caustic soda plant utilisation rates have increased steadily since the credit crunch hit in 2008: 74% in 2009-2010, 76% in 2010-2011 and 82% in 2011-2012.

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