India and Pakistan are steadily opening up their markets and this is good news for Indian chemical manufacturers. Pakistan does not have as big a chemical industry as that of India, but its demand for various end-products is rapidly expanding.
Today’s newspapers report that Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is looking to export PTA and lube oils to Pakistan. The Indian oil minister is said to have discussed IOC’s proposal with the Pakistani prime minister.
IOC produces these products at Panipat, Haryana, in northern India that is well positioned to serve the Pakistani market. Pakistan currently imports PTA through Karachi port. Imports from Panipat by land/rail would result in savings in freight cost especially if material is moved to consumption centres such as Lahore that located inland.
Panipat is also the location for IOC’s first cracker project that is due to be completed by 2010. With India projected to have a surplus of polymers such as PP, opening up the road link with Pakistan will provide IOC a ready market for the polymers that it will produce at Panipat.