JK Synthetics is once again scouting for a buyer for its 18,000 tonnes/year acrylic fibre plant in Jhalawar, Rajasthan, according to this report in the Economic Times. I doubt if the company is going to be successful.
JK was declared “sick” in 1998 and efforts have been underway since then to sell its various plants. It had sold an acrylic fibre plant at Kota to Arfat Petrochem a few years back but I have heard that this unit has been shut down due to labour problems.
The Indian acrylic fibre business has rarely been a very profitable one. JK was forced to shut down its plant in the late 1990s due to a shortage of working capital, labour trouble and also stiff competition. Consolidated Fibres shut its unit in 2006 due to depressed market conditions.
And last year Reliance Industries shut two acrylic fibre plants in Vadodara that it inherited after the acquisition of Indian Petrochemicals Corp Ltd (IPCL).
Finding a buyer for the Jhalawar unit in the current market environment will be challenging especially with acrylonitrile prices at a record $2150/tonne cfr Asia.