India’s GNAL delays commissioning of new caustic soda line to August

Priya Jestin


MUMBAI (ICIS)–India’s GACL-NALCO Alkalies & Chemicals Ltd (GNAL) has pushed back the scheduled commissioning of its greenfield 266,667 tonne/year caustic soda plant in Dahej to August 2021, a company source said on Wednesday.

The company, which is a joint venture project between state-owned firms Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals Ltd (GACL) and National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO), was initially expected to bring the plant on line in April, the source said.

“The Covid-19 [coronavirus disease] pandemic has slowed down the implementation process of the new project,” he added.

Additionally, the parent company GACL has revised up the project cost to Indian rupee (Rs) 23bn ($314m) from the initial Rs20bn, he said.

The cost revision was made to factor in goods and services tax (GST) and higher expenses due to the delay caused by the pandemic, he added.

Meanwhile, GACL’s own expansion project at its complex in Dahej, which would see the company’s caustic soda capacity increase to 475,000 tonnes/year, has also been delayed.

The plant currently has a 246,000 tonne/year capacity, according to ICIS data.

The GACL board had approved the capacity expansion at the plant in November 2019 and the new capacity was expected to come on line in the third quarter of 2021-22.

“The expansion project will now get to the stage of commercial production in the last quarter of 2021-22,” the company source said.

($1 = Rs73.2)

Photo: Soap bars. Caustic soda is used in the manufacture of pulp and paper products, alumina, soap, water treatment and textiles. (Source: imageBROKER/Shutterstock)

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