SINGAPORE (CNI)--Haldia Petrochemical Ltd (HPL) has begun production at its 420 000 tonne/year ethylene complex in West Bengal, India, CNI learned Monday.
An HPL source said: "We started production last weekend (1-2 April). We are in the initial phase, so we haven't reached full output." However, he added that for the first few months, HPL aims for operating rates of between 50% and 60%.
The first downstream units - which include a dedicated 200 000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (hdPE) plant, a 200 000 tonne/year polypropylene plant, and a 225 000 hdPE/linear low density polyethylene swing plant - can be expected to start up within this month, the source said.
When fully operational, the HPL complex will form the backbone of a chemicals cluster comprising more than 300 downstream companies. The cluster would be an important source of employment in West Bengal.
The $1.20bn (Euro1.26bn) HPL is a joint venture between India's Soros-Chatterjee group, Tata Group and West Bengal Industrial Development Corp.