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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Jun 2012

Butyl Rubber|Nylon 12|Potash market|Jatropha
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT SPECIALITY CHEMICALS?
BUTYL RUBBER - PRODUCT PROFILE
NYLON 12 –INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
IS TITANIUM DIOXIDE FACING GLOBAL SHORTAGE SCENARIO?
GLOBAL POTASH MARKET HEADING FOR SURPLUS
FOCUS ON NATURAL GAS - ADVANTAGES OF NATURAL GAS VIS A VIS LIQUID FUELS
QUIET BURIAL TO JATROPHA BIO FUEL PROJECTS
BARMER-JAMNAGAR PIPELINE PROJECT OF CAIRN COSTLY DELAY
COUNTER PRODUCTIVE ISSUES FACING COAL BED METHANE SECTOR
RECORD POWER CAPACITY ADDED IN 11TH PLAN
JATROPHA PLANTATIONS IN TAMIL NADU, INDIA - FINDINGS OF CAG
EXPANSION PLANS OF IOC
BIO REFINERY PROJECT FOR ETHYL ACETATE
NOVEL TEXTILES FROM WASTE
WASTE GAS ABATEMENT WITHOUT FUEL GAS IN SEMI CONDUCTORS
COMPULSORY LICENCE IN INDIA FOR NAXEVAR - A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT FOR PHARMA INDUSTRY
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT SPECIALITY CHEMICALS?

If one would carefully analyse the  Indian chemical industry scenario, it would become clearly evident that most chemical project promoters are really moving without definite long term game plans.

The competitive condition in the chemical industry particularly in the case bulk and commodity chemicals have become very severe with huge capacity creation around the world,particularly in China and Middle East countries. While the export prospects for such bulk chemicals from India are not good due to lack of competitive strength, there are many bulk chemicals like methanol, titanium dioxide, vinyl acetate monomer etc which are imported in huge quantity. But the project promoters in India do not have confidence to  build capacity for such bulk chemicals due to their fear of import dumping and competition in the global market.

Under the circumstances, it appears that future hope for Indian chemical industries really rest in speciality chemicals, which represent products with low volume and high margins. The challenge is how can one enter such speciality chemicals segment in a big way and penetrate the international market adequately, apart from meeting the present and projected demand in India.

It is a fact that speciality chemical segment has created considerable excitement and hope amongst the project promoters.

What is so  special about speciality chemicals is that the investment is comparatively small, the market segment would not be big and unwieldy and competition would be less and margins will be higher.

While speciality chemicals certainly provide huge opportunities, challenges faced by the speciality chemicals sector are also formidable. While it is certainly  true that there would not be many players and the competition intensity would be less, the problem is the severe entry barrier. Therefore, for many project promoters entry into  speciality chemicals sector remain  as hope and aspiration rather than  reality.

For successful entry into speciality chemicals segment, indigenous research and development  efforts are vital, as the technologies are often not readily available for purchase from abroad. Even if the technologies were to be made available, there are formidable  issues is in penetrating the market for such speciality chemicals in niche areas. This calls for huge application development efforts and innovative marketing strategies.

While the actual investment in setting up  facilities for speciality chemicals  manufacture may not be high, the research and development efforts in developing technology calls for investment and time with the usual risk associated with such research and development pursuits . Equally, considerable investments are required in developing market and in providing technical services support.

Therefore, one should  not be under an illusion that the speciality chemicals segment is essentially small scale industry operations. It is not so. as evident from the above requirements to venture into speciality chemicals areas.

Another important aspect that has to be kept in view is that the comparatively small demand base and the product substitution possibilities  would make it necessary for the speciality chemical plants to be versatile in plant design. The facilities should have the capability to produce several related products with feasibility for product shifting from one to another depending upon the demand supply scenario and market opportunities.

Obviously, this  implies that the project promoters should be in possession of technology expertise not for one product but several related products, that can be produced in a versatile multi product facility.

Therefore, it can be clearly seen that the speciality chemicals industry is not for one with weak heart.

BUTYL RUBBER - PRODUCT PROFILE

Grades and types

Grades

  •         Butyl rubber
  •         Halogenated butyl rubber
  •         Polyisobutylene butyl rubber

Forms

  •         Liquid butyl rubber
  •         Latex foam

Application

Butyl rubber and its derivatives are used in several sectors which include the following.

  •         Tyre tubes            
  •        Moulded goods
  •         Tyre inner liners   
  •        Speciality hoses
  •         Curing bladers      
  •        Medical stoppers
  •         Tyre sidewalls       
  •        Chewing gum
  •        Conveyor belting  
  •        Gaskets, bellows, etc
  •        Rolls                     
  •        Vibration dampers
  •        Adhesives            
  •        Football bladders
  •        Plastics & tapes    
  •        Hospital sheeting
  •        Cable insulation
  •        Sheeting and lining

This article discusses the following details

  • Salient characteristics of butyl rubber
  • Halogenated butyl rubber
  • Indian import       
  • Indian Manufacturer
  • Plant closure
  • New projects
  • Indian demand supply scenario
  • Global demand supply scenario
  • Global consumption pattern
    • Capacity of selected global manufacturers
  • Scenario in China
    • Units planned or expanded in China
    • New project / Expansion
    • Profile of major players
  • Process Outline
  • Prognosis
NYLON 12 –INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Structure and properties of nylon 12

The physical properties of nylons are considerably dependant on their tendency to crystallize and to absorb water.

The nylons made from diamines and dibasic acids like nylon 6,6 tend to crystallize more than those prepared from amino acids or lactams (like nylon 12). Nylon 12 crystallizes under almost all conditions in the pseudohexagonal, gamma-modification.

Nylon 12 has the lowest water absorption and its properties are almost unaffected. In dry conditions, it is the most flexible and toughest nylon. Saturated at normal humidity and even better when saturated in water, it becomes stiffer and more rigid than all other nylons.

This article discusses the following details:

  • Modifications of nylon 12
  • Specification of nylon 12
  • Applications of nylon 12
  • Process
  • Global producers and profile of major producers
  • Substitution products
  • Demand driver
  • Prognosis
IS TITANIUM DIOXIDE FACING GLOBAL SHORTAGE SCENARIO?

Supply scenario

The TiO2 industry is highly consolidated with seven producers together controlling about 64% of the 6-million metric tonnes per year global capacity. Producers include DuPont, Cristal Global, Kronos, Hunstman, Tronox, and Rio Tinto.

About 77% of the capacity operated by the top seven producers is chloride-based, and the remaining producers mostly operate sulfate-based capacity,since chloride technology is protected by patents and intellectual property laws.

This article discusses the following details :

  • DuPont’s TiO2 project
  • Global demand
  • TiO2 demand by application
  • Increasing price trend
  • Proposed titanium dioxide project of PPG
  • Proposed titanium dioxide project in Sri Lanka
  • Espionage in titanium dioxide issue between DuPont and Chinese Company
GLOBAL POTASH MARKET HEADING FOR SURPLUS

The slowdown in global demand has hit the profits of global potash suppliers.

India is dependent on overseas sources for its potash nutrient requirement, importing its entire requirement of over six million tonnes, as the resource is absent in the country.

Nevertheless, Indian companies have been bargaining hard for reduced price for potash and deferring their purchases in view of sufficient stock availability this kharif season.

The potential surplus could offer Indian companies the opportunity to whittle down the purchase prices while they negotiate new contracts.

FOCUS ON NATURAL GAS - ADVANTAGES OF NATURAL GAS VIS A VIS LIQUID FUELS

Crude Oil

Crude oil imports 160 million tonnes per year 
Import bill per year Rs.  6,00,000 crores
Cost of crude 120 USD per Barrel
Cost of energy 22 USD per Million Btu 

Natural gas

Cost of imported natural gas(LNG) in India 11 to12 USD per Million BTU 
Cost of LNG in USA 2.2 USD per MBTU- Nymex
Cost of Indian natural gas(CNG) at KG Basin 4.2 USD  per Million BTU 

Advantages of switching to natural gas from crude oil

A target of switching 50 million tonnes of crude oil  to LNG would help in multiple ways

  •         It will help the government by reducing the import bill for crude oil.
  •         It will help the national economy by way of containing current account deficit Once the current account deficit reduces, the rupee may start appreciating.
  •         It will help users of automobiles to reduce fuel expenses and by improved engine life.
  •         It will help the society by way of reducing the pollution

This article discusses the following details:

  • Needed policy initiatives
  • Financial benefits to India by switching to gas.
  • Tapi gas purchase deal-India need to move ahead very fast
    • Gas Pipeline from Turkmenistan
    • Price of gas
    • Implementing agency
  • 108 hydrocarbon discoveries made in 26 NELP blocks India’s good progress but not good enough
    • Company wise details of discoveries under NELP I-VIII
    • Crude oil and natural gas produced in 2011-12 from 6 discoveries
    • Reliance Industries Ltd
    • Niko Resources Ltd
  • No major gas based project till end of 2015-Government of India’s decision
  • Proposed LNG terminal on East Coast
  • What will be ultimate price of crude oil
    • Crude oil price trend
    • Mechanisms for crude price behaviour
    • Factors contributing to the crude price
      What is the ideal price?
    • Likely future trend
    • Shortage of workers to sustain drilling operations
COUNTER PRODUCTIVE ISSUES FACING COAL BED METHANE SECTOR

Background details

Commercial production of coal bed methane (CBM) started in India in 2007. The players in the business include — Great Eastern Energy Corporation Ltd, Essar, Reliance, and ONGC. The CBM production in India is estimated to be about 4 mmscmd by 2016-17 from the current 0.26 mmscmd.

Coal India has been seeking permission to extract coal mine methane (CMM ) from five blocks in the leasehold areas of BCCL and CCL. In-place CBM reserves of 8.92 trillion cubic feet have been so far established in five blocks. The miners today flare this gas.

This article discusses the following details :

  • Tendering process
  • Resistance from Petroleum Ministry
  • Coal mine methane (CMM) & CBM
  • Project for extraction of Methane from Coal India mines
RECORD POWER CAPACITY ADDED IN 11TH PLAN

The power generation capacity added in the 11th Plan, which ended in March 2012, was 53,000 MW.

It is close to 68 per cent of the originally projected addition (78,700 MW during the Plan period). But the capacity addition achieved is no mean feat, given that the quantum is similar to what the country had added in the previous three Five-Year Plans (15 years ended March 2007). In fact, a 20,501 MW of addition last fiscal was the highest for any year and is close to 21,180 MW added in the whole of 10th plan period (2002-07).

Additionally, a significant capacity augmentation in renewable energy (close to 25,000 MW) and captive power generation (connected to the grid) took the overall installed capacity to more than 2 lakh MWs.

This article discusses the following details

  • Coal capacity
  • Private players, major contributors
JATROPHA PLANTATIONS IN TAMIL NADU, INDIA - FINDINGS OF CAG

In 2005-06, most of the districts in  Tamil Nadu were abuzz with the talk of jatropha. At press conferences, the then District Collectors, especially in those adjoining western and eastern ghats, talked of largescale jatropa plantations as the oil extracted from its seeds (blended with diesel up to 20 per cent) could be used as a substitute to petroleum diesel.

In 2006, the Government of India released Rs. 10.50 crore for 3.50 crore jatropha plantations in  Tamil Nadu for raising 3.50 crore jatropha seedlings. The funds were directly released to 26 District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) for distribution to the Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) for raising nurseries.

As per Central guidelines, the DRDA was responsible to ensure full utilisation of jatropha seedlings raised and plantations that were to be taken up on a cluster basis. Then no one knew what happened to the jatropha plantations and the government stopped making statements about bio-diesel.

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

EXPANSION PLANS OF IOC

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) proposes to expand the Gujarat refinery from the current 13.7 million tonne a year to 18 million tonne by 2016-17. Other expansions include Panipat to 18 million tonnes , Mathura to 11 million tonnes and a grassroot refinery in the West Coast with a capacity of 15 million tonnes.

The capacity augmentation is being done in such a way that refineries are able to process any kind of crude – from heavy to light.

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

BIO REFINERY PROJECT FOR ETHYL ACETATE

ZeaChem (Lakewood, CO), a biotechnology company, is moving steadily toward a goal of building and operating its first multi-product biorefinery for producing chemicals, including ethyl acetate, from woody biomass. The company is on course to begin operating a multi-product biorefinery in 2013-14.

NOVEL TEXTILES FROM WASTE

New biotechnological and chemical methods will facilitate efficient production of chemicals, materials and fuels from renewable natural resources.

The Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence (CoE) in White Biotechnology – Green Chemistry Research focuses on the research and development of microbial cells or cell factories, for producing new useful compounds from sugars in plant biomass.

These compounds can be used, for example, for manufacturing bioplastics or in medical applications.

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

WASTE GAS ABATEMENT WITHOUT FUEL GAS IN SEMI CONDUCTORS

DAS Environmental Expert GmbH is offering customers a new system for waste gas abatement: SPRUCE is a waste gas abatement system that operates entirely without fuel gas. 

This article discusses the above subject in detailed manner.

COMPULSORY LICENCE IN INDIA FOR NAXEVAR - A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT FOR PHARMA INDUSTRY

This article discusses the following details:

  • Patent Act of 1970
  • Uruguay Round of Negotiations
  • Amendment of Patent Act 1970
  • Natco application for compulsory license
  • India now on priority watch list
OTHER FEATURES

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

The antidumping measures introduced in  the various countries in the last few weeks on the following products are discussed:

  • TDI
  • Resorcinol
  • Partially oriented yarn
  • White cement
  • Steel welded pipe
  • Pentaerythritol

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

Following safety and accident details are discussed:

  • Fire at thermal power station in Tamil Nadu
  • Explosion at API factory near Chandigarh

NEWS ROUND UP

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:

INTERNATIONAL

  • Ethylene compressor trains
  • NGL fractionation and 1-hexene capacity in USA
  • Indorama’s 86000 metric tonnes petrochemical plant in Nigeria
  • Propylene unit by Dow based on shale gas in USA
  • Polyvinyl butyral
  • Bio based succinic acid
  • New formic acid plant in US
  • Polyamide polymer
  • Polyethylene units on US Gulf Coast
  • Chlor-alkali technology
  • New polysilicon facilities in Germany
  • Oxidized polyethylene waxes plant in Germany
  • Polypropylene film project in Russia
  • Uhde India completes Farabi Petrochemicals’ LAB expansion project
  • Mixed xylene
  • Polyethylene units on US Gulf Coast
  • Polyamide polymer business of Brazil’s Mazzaferro
  • Argentina  government takes over YPF
  • Dow announces plant closures and job cuts
  • Likely global lead shortage

INDIA

  • Acquisition by Cytec Industries in India
  • Braj Binani Group acquires fibreglass company
  • Proposed polycarbonate plant in UP
  • Reliance to expand Dahej PVC
  • Styrolution to raise ABS capacity at Vadodara  plant
  • Assam gas cracker project

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments on the following products/events are updated:

  • VAE dispersion & polyvinyl acetate resins
  • Clariant strengthens pigment production
  • Polycarbonate plant

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

The recent developments on the following technology efforts are highlighted

  • Myriant begins scaling biobased acrylic acid process
  • Bio based acrylic acid
  • Recyclable non wovens
  • Mobile ultrafiltration unit
  • PET recycling technology
  • Bio heat Transfer Fluids
  • Global polystyrene licensing alliance
  • Catalysts for polypropylene production
  • Carbonates and acid stimulation in oil fields

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:

  • 2,4-D
  • Neonicotinyl insecticides
  • Tomato’s genetic map

ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed:

  • Fuel gas desulphurization technology in power plants
  • Global CO2 emissions – Alarming trend
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Tender
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during the month of March 2012
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