MUMBAI (ICIS)--India’s Balaji Amines expects to commission the phase 1 of its new greenfield chemicals complex in 2021 as project construction was delayed by the nationwide lockdown meant to contain the coronavirus pandemic, a senior company official said.
The commissioning of the project at Solapur in Maharashtra state is now scheduled in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year ending March 2021, the official said.
Previously, the company was targeting to conduct project commissioning within April-September 2020.
The first phase of the project is expected to cost more than Indian rupee (Rs) 1.5bn ($20m) and will include a 16,500 tonnes/year ethyl amines unit and a 9,900 tonnes/year line of dimethyl carbonate (DMC).
India’s extended lockdown forced Balaji Amines to temporarily stop construction activities given delays in shipments of essential machinery and equipment, the official said.
The nationwide lockdown started on 24 March through April, with essential services allowed to resume operations from May, while restrictions on businesses and people movement were being lifted in phases since June.
Balaji Amines has decided to shelve the planned isopropanol (IPA) line at the greenfield complex, the company official said.
“We had earlier planned to install capacity to manufacture fungible products of IPA or MIPA [mono isopropyl amine]. However, with another Indian company entering the market with the same products we changed our plans to instead manufacture DMC,” the source said.
In April this year, Deepak Phenolics started up its 30,000 tonne/year IPA plant in Gujarat.
India’s current domestic demand for DMC is around 8,000 tonnes which is met fully by imports, the Balaji Amines official said.
Meanwhile, the company plans to ramp up production at its acetonitrile plant in Solapur to around 7,000 tonnes/year by the end of the current fiscal year.
The acetonitrile plant has an installed capacity of 9,000 tonnes/year and future plans include increasing capacity by 9,000 tonnes/year, the official added.
Balaji also operates a 10,000 tonnes/year morpholine plant in Solapur.
The company produces methylamines, ethyl amines and specialty chemicals from four sites - three in the western Maharashtra state and one in the southern Telangana state.
($1 = Rs75.54)
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