Global Information Source for Chemical, Pharmaceutical and Allied Industries
  • +91-44-43511945

  • info@nandinichemical.com

Journals

Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Oct 2013

ADIPIC ACID | HFO 1234YF| URANIUM SCENARIO| SHORTAGE OF HELIUM
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : IF THE GOVERNMENT FAILS TO GIVE LEAD, WHAT CAN INDUSTRIES DO ?
ALARMING INCREASE IN IMPORT OF CHEMICALS IN INDIA IN RECENT YEARS
ADIPIC ACID – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
HFO 1234yf – PRODUCT PROFILE
ENERGY OPTIONS FOR INDIA
FOCUS ON SHALE GAS
INDIA’S URANIUM SCENARIO
LIKELY GLOBAL SHORTAGE OF HELIUM
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

IF THE GOVERNMENT FAILS TO GIVE A LEAD , WHAT CAN INDUSTRIES DO?

Whether  the government recognises it or not , the fact remains  that Indian chemical industries are now in a crisis situation.

This is clearly evident from the fact that the capacity build up in Indian chemical industries have now nearly halted with only a few projects coming up though a  few projects may be in the planning stage.

Obviously, industries lack confidence to expand capacities or set up new projects in the absence of clear lead from Government of India about the policies and the programmes. Several chemical industries such as vinyl acetate monomer, alcohol based acetic acid projects have all been closed down, unable to face the competition from imported product. As a matter of fact, several chemical industries which have been making the chemicals  have now  started importing  them and in the process becoming trading houses atleast partly.

The import of several bulk chemicals such as acetic acid, methanol, vinyl acetate monomer etc. are all increasing at alarming rate.  Indian chemical industries is now facing the threat of becoming a net importer.

There is no indication that the Government of India is aware of such trend and if it would be aware, it has not given indication that it is concerned.

To be globally competitive, the size of Indian chemical industries must become much larger and they should become more technology intensive.  With regard to technology,   less said is better , as Indian chemical industries have little to show by way of research achievements or breakthrough in process developments.  While the private sector continues to largely  pay lip service to research and development, with several R & D outfits really functioning as quality control departments or indulging themselves in day today trouble shooting exercise, the massive investments made by Government of India in the CSIR laboratories  have not paid dividends. They seem to be more focused on paper presentation and applying for patents, than towards  commercialisation of such technologies.

The energy crisis faced by the country now is telling upon the confidence of the chemical industries in India . With production of crude oil, natural gas and coal nearly stagnating even as the demand are steadily going up, the industry faces an uncertain situation with regard to the energy source. It appears that all that the government can do in the energy front is to import  fuel resources and struggle to find foreign exchange to pay for such imports.

The Government of India is guilty of not working out an appropriate and alternate energy policy in tune with the strength and weakness of India.  While the exploration efforts for oil and gas are moving at snail’s pace, government is toying with the idea of promoting number of uncertain projects  like shale gas and coal bed methane,where there are serious environmental and other issues which have not been carefully evaluated and studied.

There are obvious  energy alternatives appropriate to the country’s climate and other conditions, such as off shore wind energy, algae bio fuel and jatropha bio fuel projects.

Sadly, the Government  of India   is not evincing adequate interests  in such suggestions for whatever reasons.  Detailed note submitted to the Prime minister of India and other senior ministers by Chennai based Chemical Industries Association have not even been acknowledged.

Indian chemical industries today desperately need lead from the government with clarity about its long term energy  strategies and there is a need for a big push for R & D  and   manufacturing activity.

In the absence of such initiatives from the government, Indian chemical industries remain helpless.

ALARMING INCREASE IN IMPORT OF  CHEMICALS IN INDIA IN RECENT YEARS

The import of several bulk chemicals have been increasing steadily in India. Several units producing acetic acid by ethyl alcohol route,  vinyl acetate monomer and others have closed down the plants leading to surge in imports.

What  is even more disconcerting is the fact that the hitherto manufacturers themselves have turned into importers and traders.

A  few examples of  steep  increase in  imports are given below.

           Name of the chemical

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

 

AAGR %

 

(Period: April to March)

Quantity imported in metric tonnes

Acrylonitrile

81568

64693

72618

77357

81963

0.1

Monoethylene  glycol

424427

682128

771189

634589

654830

11.5

Toluene

145719

198906

187442

245391

307144

20.5

PTA

181488

474488

744370

594914

647958

37.5

Polycarbonate

41638

54315

105264

116029

122742

31

Citric acid

34374

40467

44102

53142

56743

13.3

Carbon black

58729

71876

73145

122632

139863

24.2

Mono sodium glutamate

10787

12935

12924

17274

19532

16

LAB

76115

91248

74444

106813

125293

13.3

Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)

219240

375877

581699

460658

531289

24.8

P-xylene

235440

292945

403296

435785

564832

24.5

Acrylic acid

7982

10277

11688

12543

16407

19.7

Phenol

91829

100563

121969

146101

171717

16.9

Acetone

68363

80080

78236

100637

95939

8.8

Melamine

11869

17241

27471

29144

40512

35.9

Adipic acid

8744

14926

17113

13673

18015

19.8

Isopropyl alcohol

22793

28988

35604

28866

50165

21.8

Styrene

395724

453007

458594

520758

591646

10.6

Methanol

1058865

822247

813421

1199635

1398982

7.2

TDI

12216

14101

18097

19422

27825

22.9

Butyl rubber

53287

67196

70890

82117

78525

10.2

Polyvinyl alcohol

15187

18634

22647

22104

27935

16.5

Poly acetal

10909

15437

19190

21081

25933

24.2

Vinyl acetate monomer

50377

76657

85368

124726

127535

26.1

ADIPIC ACID – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Adipic acid is white crystalline solid, which is slightly soluble in water.It is stable under ordinary conditions.

Product specification

Name of the producer                         LANXESS

Parameter

Value

Assay

≥99.8%

Water Content

≤0.2%

Bulk density

700 gram per L

Boiling point

330 degree

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Uses and application
  • Process route and global utilization pattern
  • Indian import
  • Indian demand trends
  • Global scenario
  • Global producers
  • Chinese scenario
  • Global demand
  • Pattern of global demand
  • Prognosis
HFO 1234yf – PRODUCT PROFILE

HFO 1234yf has been proposed as a replacement for R-134a for use as a refrigerant in automobile air conditioners.

HFO 1234yf was developed to meet the European directive 2006/40/EC that went into effect in 2011, requiring that all new car platforms for sale in Europe use a refrigerant in its AC system with a GWP below 150.

HFO 1234yf was introduced in November 2007 at the 2nd European Workshop on Mobile Air Conditioning and Auxiliaries Conference in Turin, Italy.

Comparison of refrigerants.

 

Global warming

Refrigeration

Refrigerant

Potential

Capacity

R-134a

1430

100%

HFO 1234yf

4

98.9%

 

 

Relative Energy

Flammability

Refrigerant

Efficiency

Classification

R-134a

100%

Non-flammable

HFO 1234yf

99.2%

Mild  Flammability

 

Alternate names HFO 1234yf; R1234yf; 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropylene; 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene
CAS number 754-12-1
Molecular formula C3H2F4
Appearance Colourless gas
Density 1.1 g per cm3 at 25 deg. C (liquid)

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Applications
  • Risk of flammability
  • EU regulations
  • Global projects
ENERGY OPTIONS FOR INDIA

Impending energy crisis in India

Indian production of coal is less than 600 million tonnes per annum and import is around 80 million metric tonnes  per annum. Production may go up at 2% per annum in the next few years.   Indian production of crude oil is around 30 million metric tonnes per annum and import is around 160 million metric tonnes per annum. Production may go up at 1% per annum in the next few years.  Indian production of natural gas is around 35 million metric tonnes per annum  and import is around 14 million metric tonnes per annum. Production may go up at 2% per annum in the next few years.

If  India were to maintain GDP growth of 8% per annum, given the present situation, Indian import  during the year 2018 have to increase  to the level of coal around 150 million metric tonnes, crude oil around 260 million metric tonnes and more than double that of natural gas.  In such scenario, import will increase to alarming level.

This would make Indian economy highly vulnerable  to the international energy scenario  and price pressure.  Such impending energy crisis have to be avoided by strong and urgent policy measures, plans and strategies, which should involve identification and implementation of projects for appropriate energy source that would not lead to outflow of foreign exchange and current account deficit.

Approach  to overcome impending energy crisis

Such alternative indigenous energy sources have to be identified and developed based on India’s strength and opportunities

The following targeted  indigenous alternative energy sources are explained in this article.

  •         Algae based biofuel
  •         Jatropha based biofuel
  •         Onshore wind power
  •         Offshore wind power
  •         Solar power
  •         Hydro power
  •         Nuclear power
  •         Coal gas
  •         Coal bed methane  / Shale gas
FOCUS ON SHALE GAS

High in methane content, shale gas lies trapped in little bubbles inside shale rock formation, extensively found across different sedimentary basins including coalfields.

Though the energy potential of shale gas has been known, its extraction has taken off in the last decade with innovations in extraction techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Though shale gas has changed the energy dynamics in the US, its exploration is yet to take off in Europe and other regions due to environmental concerns.

India has a draft shale gas policy.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Global resource of shale gas
  • Scenario in USA
  • Environmental issues in shale gas production in USA
  • Petrochemical projects from shale gas in USA
  • Scenario in Europe
  • Scenario in Poland
  • Factors creating the ‘shale gas revolution’ in the United States as compared with Europe
  • Cost of operation
  • Scenario in China
  • PetroChina  and Shell start extracting shale gas in Sichuan
  • Scenario  in Australia
  • Shell’s plans for shale gas
  • Indian scenario
  • Indian reserves of shale gas
  • Six shale gas blocks may come up for bidding in India
  • RIL, Cairn and Essar put shale gas exploration on priority list
  • ONGC to start drilling for shale gas in Gujarat
  • Shale gas exploration technology
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Environmental issues
  • Prognosis
INDIA’S URANIUM SCENARIO

Despite the Uranium Corporation of India (UCIL) trying its best to enhance production, India has been importing around 50% of its uranium needs to feed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India’s (NPCIL) 20 reactors.

With free trade of uranium possible, depending on the country from which uranium is bought, imported uranium is working out to be 20-25% cheaper than the cost at which UCIL has been producing it in the country.

The above title is further discussed in this article.

LIKELY GLOBAL SHORTAGE OF HELIUM

Helium supplies would face an abrupt drop unless US Congress would pass legislation to continue operating the US Federal Helium Reserve (Amarillo, TX). The reserve, operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), supplies more than one-third of the world’s crude helium supply. A 1996 law requires BLM to pay down $1.3 billion in debt from crude helium sales but does not provide for continued operations after the debt is paid.

The BLM is scheduled to make the final [debt] payment on 7 October 2013, two years ahead of schedule.Once the payment is made, funding currently used to operate the program will terminate and any future proceeds from the program will go directly to the US Treasury. Only US Congress can decide the future of the federal helium programme.

The above subject  is further discussed in this article.

OTHER FEATURES

PLANT CLOSURES

The article discusses the following closure plans

  • Sponge iron plants shut operations in Karnataka
  • Closure  of  TiO2 plant in Singapore
  • Total to close Carling cracker unit
  • AkzoNobel to cease production of organic peroxides at Dutch site

SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

POLYSILICON BLAST IN SAMSUNG ENGINEERING

The Samsung Group (Seoul) says it has fired Ki-Seok Park, CEO of Samsung Engineering, following a fatal accident at a polysilicon plant at Ulsan, South Korea, in late July.

Samsung says it is holding Ki-Seok Park accountable for a water tank explosion that killed 3 employees and injured more than 10.

The 10,000- metric tonnes per year plant is being built for SMP, a joint venture between Samsung Fine Chemicals and MEMC at a Samsung Fine Chemicals site and is scheduled to be onstream this year. The plant was undergoing tests when a water tank burst during a stress test.

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

TERT-BUTYLHYDROQUINONE

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has launched an investigation into import of tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) from India.

MOC has received requests from Chinese TBHQ producers, accusing Indian manufacturers of dumping the product on the Chinese market and calling for an inquiry.  The ministry will consider whether Indian companies have sold TBHQ at an artificially low price in China and any consequences that the action may have brought to Chinese businesses.

The investigation is expected to take at least a year and may be extended to Feb. 2015.

TBHQ is an organic compound used in the food industry as antioxidant for vegetable oils, many edible animal fats, roasted food, fried food and other meat products.  It is also used as a stabilizer for insecticides, as well as an intermediate for dyes and pharmaceuticals.

NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Celanese and PetroChina to develop fuel ethanol
  • CO project BY Air Liquide at Antwerp
  • Biosimilars joint venture
  • Specialty ligand
  • CO2 recovery plant
  • Emission-free amine catalysts
  • Valifenalate based fungicide
  • Lauric acid
  • Biobased superabsorben

SYNTHETIC RUBBER INDUSTRY IN CHINA

Many new or expanded synthetic rubber (SR) units were put into production in China in 2012.

By June 2013, China has increased its capacity of eight major  SR products to 4.61 million metric  tonnes   per annum .  And the country produced 3.79 million tonnes of SR (including latex) in 2012, up 7.06% YOY, with the output of eight major products reaching 3.01 million tonnes, rising 11.05% from a year earlier.

Benefiting from new units that will be put into use in the next few years, China’s SR capacity is estimated to exceed 7.5 million metric  tonnes per annum in 2017.

As of June 2013, Chinese capacity of eight SR products totaled 4.61 million metric  tonnes   per annum , of which 35.94%, or 1.66 million metric  tonnes   per annum , is contributed by SBR; 29.83%, 1.38 million metric  tonnes   per annum , polybutadiene rubber; 19.09%, 880  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum  SBC; 4.56%, 210  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum , nitrile rubber; 1.80%, 83  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum  chloroprene rubber; 4.34%, 200  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum , butyl rubber; 0.98%, 45  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum , ethylene propylene rubber, 3.47%,  160  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum  polyisoprene rubber.                           

As China’s largest SR producer, Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Company has 345  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum  SR capacity, accounting for 8.13% of the domestic total; second largest, Sinopec Baling Petrochemical Co., Ltd., 340  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum , accounting for 7.38%; third largest, Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical Co., Ltd., 300  kilo metric  tonnes   per annum , accounting for 6.51%.

Following details are discussed inthis article

  • China’s major SR Producers in 2013
  • China’s new SR capacity from 2013 to 2017
  • Supply and Demand of China’s SR

NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Wood-plastic-composites partnership in India
  • Plans of Hindustan Copper Ltd.

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

The recent developments on the following products discussed

  • Device to detect biodiesel contamination
  • Paraxylene from plant-based materials
  • Generating electricity from sewage
  • PP catalyst development

PHARMA PAGE

USFDA RECORD OF INDIAN PHARMA UNITS

India has 526 pharma manufacturing facilities approved by the American regulator, the second-highest number outside of US, and accounts for nearly 40% of the generic drugs sold in the that country.

India, which is second-largest drug exporter to the US, according to the FDA, exported $4.23 billion or 30% of total exports to the US market in 2012-13.

Out of the country’s total pharmaceutical exports of $14.6 billion, India exports 19% to Europe,followed by 17% to Africa, 7% to West Asia and 5% to the CIS countries.

Despite the recent instances of top Indian drug makers, including Ranbaxy, Wockhardt, Lupin and Aurobindo Pharma, being  issued with import alerts or warned about lax manufacturing practices by the FDA, only 47 drug manufacturing facilities or 9% of total units approved by the American regulator has been banned from exporting products (be it drugs, food products or medical devices) to the US market till date.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

Following pharmaceutical  information is discussed in this article

  • New microbiocide that tricks HIV to kill itself
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Price Details
  • Butadiene
  • Ex-Factory Prices Of Chemicals In China In August 2013
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals Imported At The Chennai Port During The Month Of August  2013
Subscribe to Nandini Chemical Journal and Order Reprints

Nandini Chemical Journal, Annual subscription, 12 issues, sent as a pdf document by email. US $100.See Details