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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Apr 2004

Pig Iron from Ilmenite|Pig Iron|Anti dumping, LNG, Pesticides
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH
ANTI DUMPING MEASURES IN INDIA – STUDY REPORT
PIG IRON FROM ILMENITE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
DATA EXCLUSIVITY FOR PESTICIDES
HERBAL INDUSTRY PAGE
OTHER STORIES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

LOST LNG PROJECT IN KERALA

After much hype and repeated announcements during the last few years, it appears that the LNG project at Kochi in Kerala has been given up for all practical purpose. It appears that the project promoter Petronet LNG Ltd. (PLL) is looking for alternative location in South India such as Mangalore for setting up LNG project. This clearly is a great loss of investment opportunity for Kerala.

It appears that the project promoter Petronet LNG Ltd (PLL) is of the view that the demand level for LNG in Kerala region has not been established.

Obviously, the truth is that no worthwhile efforts have been made to encourage setting up of projects that would utilise the LNG in large way in Kerala and nearby region. Both the entrepreneurs in the region as well as state government should accept the blame for this situation.

The terminal, with an annual capacity of 2.5 million tonnes of LNG, was to come up on 40 hectares of land allotted by the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) at nearby Puthuvypeen.

The Kochi project was conceived about four years ago with the expectation that a Malaysian power company, Siasin Ltd., which had come forward to set up a thermal plant adjacent to the proposed site of the terminal, would become the anchor customer.

This company had backed out leaving Petronet to rely on National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC), which was in the process of finding a supplier who could deliver LNG at the lowest price at this doorsteps.

Already the required land has been allotted for the project at Kerala.

The estimated cost is around Rs.16000 million. Petronet LNG Pvt.Ltd. has already obtained statutory approvals and clearances from the Kerala State Departments of Environments, Fisheries and Forests, the Chief Controller of Explosive for in principal approval of layout; the Civil Aviation Authority and the Southern Naval Command.

The latest clearance was received from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) late last year. Thus, most of the pre project activities involving an investment of about Rs.300 million have been completed. Further activities are on hold pending finalisation of consumers.

The only pending issue, which the company might pursue with the State Government is a sales tax waiver for five or 10 years or a cut in sales tax tariff for LNG supplied by Petronet.

Petronet had asked the Kerala Government to give an assurance that it would help the company market 70 percent of the gas from the proposed 2.5 million tonne terminal in the State.,

An uncertainty hovers over the NTPC’s buying LNG from Kochi terminal for its Kayankulam plant, capacity of which is to be expanded from 350 MW to 2300 MW in the next plan due to the strict condition put forward by NTPC.

Kerala Government has to examine the possibility of selling LNG in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The tender prequalification for the five million tonne Mangalore terminal project in Karnataka has been completed by Petronet and there are four companies in the final bid.

Unlike in Kerala, there would be an assured market in Karnataka for the LNG and compared to Kochi, the terminal construction cost in Mangalore would be lower.

LNG could be carried to Kerala through pipeline, which would be laid by GAIL (India) Ltd.

ONGC, MRPL, Bidadi Power Plant and several other industries there could easily absorb LNG from the terminal.

A terminal in Kochi is necessary for the industrial development of the Kerala State. Several existing industries such as the Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) would be benefited by it. Besides, once LNG comes, a lot number fuel based industries would also come up.

The future of the proposed Petronet LNG terminal in Kochi largely depends on the NTPC, the potential anchor customer, which would expand the capacity of its Kayankulam Thermal Plant in Kerala by 1950 MW in the 11th plan.

Until Petronet is sure of securing a major anchor customer, it might not be able to go ahead with the project, for want of an assured market, despite having received all the required clearance from the Central and State governments last year.

ANTI DUMPING MEASURES IN INDIA - A STUDY REPORT

India might have to confront a `battle’ in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in the days ahead to justify its `heavy’ use of anti dumping, according to a study.

“Even as Indian Industries often complain about use of anti dumping against it, India’s heavy use of this instrument, has also come in for strong criticism globally”, the study by the international consultants Dun and Bradstreet (India) has said.

The European Union has recently challenged the WTO about the `consistency’ of India’s anti dumping measures on several grounds, including the `alleged lack of transparency in investigations and lack of evidence while drawing inference of injury’ the study said, adding that “India might have to face a WTO battle in coming days to justify its heavy use of anti dumping”.

The study by the consultancy group said that if this compliant against India does not get resolved through consultation, EU could ask for a dispute settlement panel to look into India’s anti dumping practices.

According to the consultants, India’s share in world anti dumping cases has gone up between 1995 and 2002 from 1.9 percent to 5.2 percent and as an initiator of the cases from 3.8 percent to 25.9 percent during the period under review.

The study by Dun and Bradstreet said that it would be worthwhile for the government of India to examine, whether the `co-movement’ is casual, whether it is linked to a process of retaliation, what the net outcome of this trade war is and hence `whether it makes sense to de-escalate this trade war”.

A study by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) has showed that the anti dumping use is typically high when domestic industries are passing through a rough patch or when the tariff barriers are being brought down, the study said.

“The pattern also suggests that affected countries often retaliate by initiating anti dumping cases on the same countries’, the study said adding “thus anti dumping seems to have been often used as a protectionist and retaliatory measure.”

On the future of the anti dumping battles, the study said “notwithstanding the arguments putforth by the free trade champions, the recent trends suggest that India might continue to witness more cases and legal battles in the coming years”.

It said either initiating or fighting anti dumping cases calls for considerable legal expertise and obtaining key cost related data of competitors. “Therefore, it would be necessary for the industry to enhance its preparedness and expertise with respect to different aspects of anti dumping”, the study said.

PIG IRON FROM ILMENITE - AN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Ilmenite is the titanium ferrous ore that is abundantly available in India in the coastal sands of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. The Indian deposits of ilmenite is estimated to be around 200 million tonnes, which is estimated to be around 14% of the total world reserves. The content of iron in ilmenite is around 30 to 36% and that of Titanium is around 50% to 60%.

By electrosmelting reduction of ilmenite, two value added products can be produced namely pigiron and titania slag.

The Titaniua Slag would be used for the production of titanium dioxide pigment by sulphate process and chlorine process.

Internationally, pig iron and titania slag are produced from ilmenite by electrosmelting reduction in Canada, South Africa and Norway.

Unfortunately, there is no production of pig iron/titania slag from ilmenite in India, inspite of the large availability of ilmenite deposits in the country.

Considering that the pig iron is in short supply in the country and growth prospects in demand for pig iron in India are substantial, strong case exists to set up facilities for production of pig iron from ilmenite in India immediately.

This article also discusses the following aspects :

Process flow for Pig iron/Titania Slag from Ilmenite
· Indian Reserves of Ilmenite
· Significant Ilmenite Deposits
· Indian scenario for Pig Iron
· Manufacturing process for Pig iron from Ilmenite
· Process Flow sheet
· Recommendation  

DATA EXCLUSIVITY FOR PESTICIDES

Multinational crop protection chemical companies are requesting the Government of India for a 5 to 10 year period of protection or `exclusivity’ on the test data relating to new pesticide molecules, which they are now obliged to submit to the Government to obtain authorisation for marketing in the country.

The request aimed at tackling `unfair’ competition from domestic `me-too’ generic agrochemical manufacturers – is broadly in line with what their counterparts in the drugs/.pharma industry have been seeking.

The MNCs contend that the absence of protection for the voluminous test data that they are statutorily obliged to submit to the registration authorities for their pesticides, allows other companies to access this information and come out with the same or similar molecules.

Moreover, since the `me-too’ registrants do not have to incur the costs involved in developing the molecule and generating the detailed field trial data, they are able to reverse engineer and market the same pesticide at much lower prices.

What the MNC’s want is a 5 to 10 year period of data exclusivity, during which the Government respects the confidentiality of the test data furnished by any agrochemical company for a particular molecule.

Over this period, applicable from the day of according registration, this data should not be referred to by another company. Besides MNC’s are seeking a minimum time gap for granting me too registration for any pesticide, subsequent to its original registration under Section 9(3). This interval will help the MNCs recover the cost of R & D and data generation.

PAGE ON HERBAL INDUSTRY  

MULETHI (LIQUORICE) – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Botanical Details

  • Family Papilonaceae
  • Botanical name Glycyrrhiza Glabra Linn
  • Botanical trait A hardy sub-erect perennial herb or under shrub

Application

The major use of liquorice is as a flavouring agent, though liquorice and its derivatives find use in pharmaceuticals as well as a flavouring agent, it is used in the tobacco industry., Tobacco flavouring is now mainly confined to filter tipped cigarettes, mostly in the United states, although it appears to be used to a lesser extent in other countries.

Liquorice extract is used as a demulcent and expectorant in cough remedies. It is also used in tonics, laxatives, antismoking preparations and various other proprietary medicines. Liquorice and its products are widely reported to be useful in ulcer therapy.

Article on Mulethi (Liquorice) discusses the following aspects :

Important chemical constituents of liquorice
* Indian Scenario
* Driving factors for demand
* Demand
* Price
* Soil and climate requirements
* Propagation 
* Harvesting
* Regeneration 
* Yield 
* In vitro multiplication 
* Processing of extracts
* Global Scenario

HERBAL MEDICINES AND NUTRACEUTICALS BY SUPERCRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION

In recent years, Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SCFE) has emerged as a highly promising technology for production of herbal medicines and nutraceuticals with high potency of active ingredients.

The new technique uses supercritical carbon dioxide3 (SC CO2) at near ambient temperatures as a solvent, which is clean, safe, inexpensive, nonflammable, non toxic, environment friendly and non polluting. It is generally regarded as safe (GRAS) and it yields contaminant free, tailor made extracts having superior organoleptic profile and shelf life without any residual organic solvents and artifacts.

In view of India’s rich botanical and marine resources, SCFE has high potential in producing nutraceuticals, foods, flavours, fragrances, cosmetics, and biologically active principles and thereby achieving a significant value addition to its traditional export of raw natural materials. Thus, use of the SCFE technology can help Indian industry to gain its share in rapidly growing international market for high quality, value added natural products.

The SCFE technique ensures high consistency and reliability in the quality and safety of the bio active heat sensitive nutraceuticals, as it does not alter the delicate balance of bio activity of natural molecules. The unique properties of SC CO2 have given impetus to develop new products with wide ranging applications. SC CO2 can be used to produce sub micron particulates of uniform size and controlled morphology, for efficient drug delivery and controlled release, by micronisation, micro-encapsulation and impregnation of the bilogically active compounds that render higher dissolution rates and better bio availability in the body fluids.

OTHER STORIES

LIQUID CRYSTAL – A SOURCE OF ELECTRONIC DISPLAY

Liquid crystals, which are also called as mesophases, is the fourth state of matter, which lies between crystalline solid and pure liquid state.

These liquid crystal have 1 or 2 dimensional lattice or even no lattice. Also it has weak orientation and state is liquid state.

The base of this liquid crystal is purely chemical as these mainly consist of straight rod like or disk like liquid crystals. There are various types of liquid crystals according to their use in different field.

The most common application of liquid crystals is LC D’s digital watches, calculators, information display, computer monitor, etc.

DIMETHYL SULPHATE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

In this article, following aspects are discussed :

· Product characteristics
· Product specifications
· Application sector
· Application Details
· Indian Manufacturers
· Demand Level
· Process
· Global scenario 
· Recommentation

MODIFIED POLYPHENYLENE ETHER (MPPE) – PROFILE

Modified polyphenylene oxide and polyphenylene ether resins are similar in chemical composition and properties.

The modification of these resins involves blending with a second polymer usually polystyurene or polystyrene/butadiene. By varying the blend ratio and other additives, a variety of grades are produced,.

Unmodified, these polymers are characterized by regular closely spaced ring structures (Phenyl groups) in the main molecular chain. This feature along with strong intermolecular attraction causes extreme stiffness and lack of mobility.

In this article, following aspects are discussed :

· Properties
· Applications
· New Grades
· Sample of imports
· Global scenario
· Global demand
· Asahi’s project

OTHER ARTICLES

* Anti Dumping Page 
* Update on Nano Technology
* Update on Electronic Chemicals
* Safety and Accident Page
* Certification Issues
* Ionic Liquids for Chemical Synthesis
* Process Flow –Ammonia
* Safety Data –Aluminium Chloride
* Pesticide News
* News Round Up – International/India
* Technology Development – India/International
* Agro Chemical Page – India
* Energy Page
* Pharma Page - International/India
* Price Details –International 
* Environmental Page – International/India
* Energy Page – India
* Job Seeker’s Page
* Tender
* International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code – Part XVIII
* List of Foreign Investment/Collaboration Proposals Approved by Government of India During the Month of November 2003
* Figures at a Glance
* Nandini Internet Index
* Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of August 2003 
* Chemicals Exported at Chennai Port During the Month of August 2003
* Chemicals Imported at Chennai Port During the Month of September 2003 
* Books Review

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