India's HMEL to start up new PP unit by end September – buyers

17 August 2012 05:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India's HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) plans to start up its 440,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant at Bathinda in Punjab by the end of September, buyers and distributors of the company said late on Thursday.

HMEL was unable to start up the PP unit in end May, as the company had previously planned, because it had to stabilize the production output at its upstream refinery, sources said.

In addition, the company decided to delay the start up because of poor margins in PP production, according to sources.

“With PP just at less than $50/tonne (€41/tonne) premium over propylene, this does not justify the spread of $150/tonne (€122/tonne) to breakeven for PP producers,” an Indian PP maker said.

Average spot prices of benchmark PP raffia grade were at $1,370-1,380/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Mumbai on 16 August, Indian market players said.

Average spot Asian propylene prices were at $1,340/tonne CFR NE (northeast Asia) on 10 August, up $40/tonne from early July, ICIS data showed.

Company officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The new PP facility will produce only homo polymer grades, including biaxially oriented PP (BOPP) film, cast film, extrusion, fibre and filaments, injection moulding, raffia, thermoforming and tubular quench (TQ) grades.

HMEL is a joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) and Mittal Energy Investment. Each company holds a 49% stake in HMEL, while the remaining 2% interest is held by financial institutions.

($1 = €0.81)

By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359

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