India’s production of raw materials is limited: but more plants seem unlikely until demand reaches a crucial level. Report by Liz White, editor
Production of raw materials for PU within India is “now nowhere near the demand levels,” pointed out G Ramachandran, vice chairman of the Indian Polyurethane Association (IPUA) and ceo of propylene oxide (PO) supplier Manali Petrochemical.
“The time is ripe now for more big plants to come into India,” Ramachandran said, in his speech at the opening of the PU TECH event.
The Manali executive also said he was happy that Evonik and Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd are studying the feasibility of an HPPO (hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide) plant in Gujarat state in western India.
Manali has carried out its own feasibility study for an HPPO plant, Ramachandran revealed, in a separate interview with UTI (see below). And the Manali executive pointed out that while gaining government approvals is often a stumbling block in such projects, for PO a bigger issue is ensuring a supply of propylene.
Looking at India’s raw materials capability; versus demand, Steven English, global vice president of Dow Polyurethanes, pointed out that, “As you heard yesterday, demand is 300 to 400 kt for the whole of PU the sector in India. So it is still relatively small.”
But, English commented, with an annual growth rate of 20 percent, “that is nearly 100 ktpa of new material needed every year.”
For PO and polyols, English…