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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, Sep 2014

N-PHENYLMALEIMIDE MARKET | DE-METHIONINE MARKET | LNG TERMINAL
Highlights of Some of the Articles

TALK OF THE MONTH : STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF ACQUIRING ASSETS ABROAD
SUGGESTIONS TO PRIME MINISTER ON PLANNING BODY
SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL N-PHENYLMALEIMIDE
LONG FIBER REINFORCED THERMOPLASTICS (LFRT) PRODUCT PROFILE
DL-METHIONINE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
PRECARIOUS COAL SCENARIO HITTING INDIAN POWER PLANTS
HOW MANY MORE LNG TERMINAL?
INDIA NEED TO FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT OF COAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRY
CASE FOR PROMOTING COAL CHEMICAL PROJECTS IN INDIA
COAL TO CHEMICAL PROJECTS IN CHINA
COAL TO GAS PROJECTS IN CHINA
INDIA’S INVESTMENT PLAN IN MOZIMBIQUE’S NATURAL GAS FIELD NOW FACING UNCERTAIN SCHEDULE
OTHER FEATURES
OTHER ARTICLES

TALK OF THE MONTH

STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF ACQUIRING ASSETS ABROAD

The Indian chemical industry contributes only three percent to global trade, while China tops the table with 29 percent, followed by the US with 25 percent, while Germany and Japan chip in with 14 percent and 15 percent..

In recent years, India has emerged as large importer of several bulk chemicals and other essential commodities.

While Indian requirement of potash is  entirely imported, import of DAP fertilizer in India is around half of the world import trade of DAP. In the case of urea, India imports around 7 million metric tonne per annum. In the case of other chemicals such as phosphoric acid, methanol, acetic acid and others, Indian imports have become high and now constitute a large segment of global trade for these products.

Apart from  the fertilizer and other bulk chemicals, India  has also emerged as large importer of crude oil (Around 180 million metric tonne per annum ),coal (around 110 million metric tonne per annum) and natural gas (around 16 billion cubic meter per annum).

The above staggering level of imports are causing severe current account deficit issues for the country’s finances.

Such large import have become necessary due to shortage in domestic availability of several raw material and inputs such as rock phosphate, crude oil, potash etc and inadequate capacity build up for several bulk chemicals in tune with the growth in demand. Such helpless import dependence can not do good for the long term prospects of chemical industries and overall national economy.

In such circumstances, appropriate and strategic solutions have to be found to tackle this disturbing scenario. It is gratifying that Government of India and several industries in India have realized this need.

In recent years, Indian companies have acquired coal mines abroad. They have invested in taking stake in shale gas fields in North America  and crude oil exploration companies abroad. Joint ventures have also been set up for production of products such as phosphoric acid and other phosphatic  fertilizer in Middle East countries.However, such efforts still  have a long way to go.

In the global arena,  approach to foreign policies of the Government of India should be in tune with the compelling need of the country to acquire such assets abroad and make it’s resource base strong and sound and well protected from uncertainties. This, obviously means  that the political relations with various regions and countries have to be kept at favourable level  and pragmatic foreign relations have to be maintained  and  sustained by the government.

China  has adopted  such pragmatic approach in international relations, that have helped the Chinese economy in significant way for  rapidly forging ahead.

What is required is that the Government of India should  move with great speed  in adopting such strategies  considering the urgent need.

In this context, it is gratifying to note that the Government has proposed to set up special economic zones (SEZ) for the Indian chemical industry in Myanmar and Iran.In a concept dubbed as reverse SEZ, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has mooted the idea of facilitating Indian companies to set up manufacturing facilities, where raw material is available in abundance.

SUGGESTIONS TO PRIME MINISTER ON PLANNING BODY

Government  of India has invited suggestions  on reconstituting the Planning Commission, which would be now done under a new garb.  Press  reports  say  that this body would be reconstituted with one scientist, one social activist apart from others. 

Chemical Industries Association . an apex body representing cross section of chemical and allied industries and based in Chennai, has submitted the following suggestions to Prime Minister on reconstituting the Planning Body.

Planning Commission , whatever be the new name , has to be a highly  motivated and dedicated  agency  with around  five members , who have a holistic understanding of the needs of the country from various view points including technology practices, social upliftment, optimisation of resources etc.

It does not really matter as to whether a member should be a scientist or a social activist or an engineer or person with financial or any other background.

In the past, we have seen persons like Dr. C.P.Ramaswami  Iyer , who was a lawyer by profession, competently  conceiving and  implementing projects  of far reaching significance like hydro electric power projects, fertiliser complex, ceramic projects, modernisation of road projects etc.  in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Many other similar examples can be shown of  persons with high level of commitment, intelligence and holistic understanding, coming out with original and innovative  project  ideas.

Government  of India should look for such persons, who have an integrated outlook with vision appropriate to the ground realities of India. 

Such body  can be backed up  by  number of specially constituted  panel of advisors in number of disciplines,  which  can constantly provide suggestions  and make submissions by way of inputs and schemes   for the consideration of the planning body .

Such panel of advisors can be constituted from  the nominees of  recognised associations  in different disciplines , presently functioning in the country.

Structurally, such advisory panels may be attached to all ministries and the suggestions of such panels shall be subjects of study,. Based on this, the recommendation may be  arrived at,  which would be  considered by the new body to be  constituted.

The body shall co ordinate/ascertain the views of concerned state governments and place all views on individual projects to the Cabinet Committee dealing with the subject and related aspects before deciding on each project for implementation.

Gist of what transpires at each stage may  be  made available in the public domain for  discussion and debate.

Government of India can take appropriate decision based on such informed opinions  and evolve  future action plans.

SPOTLIGHT ON SPECIALITY CHEMICAL N-PHENYLMALEIMIDE
Molecular Formula C10H7NO2
CAS No. 941-69-5
Other names Maleimidobenzene; 
Maleanil; 
1-Phenyl-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione; 
N--Phenylmaleic Acid Imide;
N-Fenylimid kyseliny maleinove;
Appearance
                                Yellow crystalline powder or flakes
Solubility N-phenylmaleimide shows high solubility to organic solvents, especially, to acetone, DMF,  acetic acid esters, benzene

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Specification
  • Areas of application
  • Modification of various resins
  • Producer
  • Indian import
LONG FIBER REINFORCED THERMOPLASTICS (LFRT) PRODUCT PROFILE

Long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFRT) combine long fiber reinforcements with thermoplastic resins  to provide combination of mechanical properties, impact, creep resistance and low warpage.Nearly all types of polymers are suitable as matrix material.

LFRTs offer a combination of stiffness and toughness that allow their use in metal replacement/light weighing solutions across automotive, consumer, industrial and aerospace applications. Their high strength to weight ratios result in parts that can withstand heavy loads over long periods of time, even at elevated temperature.

Unlike conventional short fiber reinforced materials, the longer fibers form an internal glass fiber “skeleton” that limits anisotropic shrinkage and greatly reduces warpage in parts.

Long fiber compounds are often used to replace metals and consequently have  been registering steady growth in demand in the thermoplastic industry.

LFRT  is produced by pultrusion technology — the long fibers are impregnated to deliver optimal reinforcement to the plastic matrix. 

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Properties of long fiber reinforced thermoplastics (LFRT)
  • Grades
  • Global players
  • Process technology
  • Demand drivers
  • Consumption pattern
  • Prognosis
DL-METHIONINE – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

DL-Methionine is the only sulphur containing amino acid

Molecular formula                       C2H11NO2S

Alternate name                           2-amino-4-(methyl thio) butyric acid

CAS No                                       : 59-51-8
Appearance                                : White crystalline powder or platelets
Bulk density                                : 680 kg/m3 +/- 10 % 
Stability                                      : Stable under ordinary conditions of use and storage
Odour :                                         Faint acid odour

Solubility                                    : Soluble in dilute acids and alkalies Ca.18 gm/1
Principal forms

Methionine is produced in two principal forms as given below.

  • DL-Methionine (DLM)
  • Methionine Hydroxy Analogue (MHA)

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Product specification
  • Product application
  • Key role for DL-methionine in animal feed
  • Indian Import
  • Demand driver
  • Indian demand
  • Global scenario
  • Global producers
  • Market share of major players
  • Growth rate in global demand
  • Global demand
  • Manufacturing process
  • Global import / export
PRECARIOUS COAL SCENARIO HITTING INDIAN POWER PLANTS

It is highly disturbing to know that around 25% of power  capacities in Gujarat  (a reasonably well administered state ) have to be shut in recent days  due to non availability of coal. This is more than a quarter of the state’s total installed  capacity of 18,510 MW  . Such power shortage constitute around 7563  MW ,which is an alarming level.

It is well known that most of the power projects in India have been operating with low coal inventory and sometimes as low as  2 to 3 days of the requirement. Such conditions  have forced many power plants to operate at low capacity utilisation level to ensure that the  thermal plants will be  kept running until fresh arrival of coal.

Though India has  large reserves of coal deposits, India  is importing around   110 million tonne of coal every year and the import level is likely to go up in the coming years , since there is no feasibility of substantially increasing the production of coal in the next one or two years. The international price of coal is also increasing due to the robust global demand.

The Union Coal Minister has correctly observed that the only solution for the problem is to open more coal mines  and improve efficiency in the existing ones  as early as possible. This calls for  significant improvement in  managerial  and technological  efficiency  in Coal India

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Dubious allotment of coal blocks
  • Poor capacity utilisation of power plants
  • Options of off shore wind power and algae bio fuel
HOW MANY MORE LNG TERMINALS?

Indian Oil Corporation  (IOC), plans to set up another liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the country's eastern coast. IOC said in its annual report 2014-15 that “to meet the gas requirement of upcoming Paradeep refinery and other potential customers, setting up  LNG terminal is under consideration at eastern coast in near future”.  Are there any plans as to how many LNG terminals should be set up in India?.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Proposed LNG terminal in Gangavaram port
  • Proposed LNG terminal at Ennore, Chennai
  • Proposed LNG terminal at Mangalore
  • LNG terminal capacity
  • Kochi LNG terminal
  • How many more LNG terminals?
INDIA NEED TO FOCUS ON DEVELOPMENT OF COAL CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Achievements of China in coal chemical industry

In recent years, China has successfully demonstrated coal to chemical projects such as coal gasification, coal to methanol, direct and indirect coal to liquid, coal to olefin, coal to mono ethylene glycol, coal to aromatic hydrocarbon, methanol to olefin and coal to dimethyl ether.

In 2013, China’s output of coal to liquid and coal to olefin (ethylene, propylene) was around 1.7 million metric tonne and 1.8 million metric tonne respectively.It is expected that by 2020, the scale of coal to liquid and coal to natural gas projects in China will reach 30 million metric tonne per annum and 50 bcm per annum.

India, which has large coal resources and faces shortage of natural gas and crude oil,  must work on promotion of coal based chemical projects like what China has achieved.

CASE FOR PROMOTING COAL CHEMICAL PROJECTS IN INDIA

With  Indian import of methanol exceeding to one million metric tonne per annum and import of acetic acid is now several lakhs of metric tonne per annum, the feasibility  of setting up methanol / acetic acid projects from coal have to be examined with utmost priority.

With no feasibility of increasing the domestic production of natural gas and crude oil in the foreseeable future and with the availability of large deposits of coal in India, the coal to chemical projects  are, obviously, the most appropriate scheme in India to sustain the growth of chemical industry and national economy.Coal to gas projects are also of vital importance.

Whereas China has focused on such areas with great  benefits  which is now there for all to see, significant work has not been done in India in developing coal based chemical projects .

Under the circumstances, it is very important that coal to chemical projects should be considered as thrust areas  for growth in India.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

COAL TO CHEMICAL PROJECTS IN CHINA

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Policies of Government of China
  • Location of coal to chemical projects in China
  • Coal to methanol project
  • Coal based MTO project
  • Important coal to chemical demonstration projects in China
  • Long term plans of Sinopec in China  for coal chemical projects
COAL TO GAS PROJECTS IN CHINA

Two coal to gas demonstration projects in China, that of Datang International in Hexigten Banner and the first phase of a project of Xinjiang Kingho in Yili were completed in 2013 and have entered the stage of trial production . 

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • 4 bcm per annum project of Datang International in Hexigten Banner
  • 5.5 bcm per annum project of Xinjiang Kingho
  • Coal to gas projects approved, under construction or planned
  • The other projects
INDIA’S INVESTMENT PLAN IN MOZIMBIQUE’S NATURALGAS FIELD NOW FACING UNCERTAIN SCHEDULE

Investments of over $5 billion by three of India’s public sector companies in Mozambique’s giant gas field Rovuma Area 1 are in trouble, with the local government failing to ratify a remunerative fiscal regime so far.

Though the project has been in the making for several years, the fiscal regime was never finalised and has now got held up due to elections in Mozambique on              October 15.

While Bharat PetroResources invested $75 million in 2008, ONGC Videsh and                Oil India invested a whopping $5.1 billion just last year when they bought out Videocon’s 10% stake in the field along with another 10% from the main operator Anadarko, a US firm. Unless the new Mozambique government would finalise an acceptable concession agreement and this is the best case scenario, production could get delayed significantly beyond the original date of 2018.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

OTHER FEATURES

PLANT CLOSURE

Bayer to close PC sheet plant in Germany

Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has decided to close its polycarbonate (PC) sheet facility at Darmstadt, Germany, as part of the company’s worldwide consolidation of its PC sheet business.

The above subect  is further discussed in this article .

ANTI DUMPING PAGE

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

  • Purified terephthalic acid (PTA)
  • Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
  • Phthalic anhydride
  • Solar cells, panels
  • Saturated fatty alcohols
  • Diketopyrrole Pyrrole Pigment Red 254

SAFETY & ACCIDENT PAGE

The following articles discussing about the accidents occurred at various places

  • Fire in ethylene cracker unit
  • LPG pipeline explodes in Assam

NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Natural detergent alcohols plant in Saudi Arabia
  • Saskatchewan potash deposit
  • Alpha olefins plant in USA
  • PVOH film plant in  USA
  • UHMWPE plant in USA
  • Methanol to ammonia plant in Russia
  • Sulfonation plant in Brazil
  • Specialty acrylic resin plant in Japan
  • Gazprom gas pipeline to China

MDI INDUSTRY IN CHINA FORGING AHEAD

As of the end of 2013, China’s total capacity for diphenyl methane diisocyanate (MDI) was around 2 million metric tonne per annum. 

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • China’s MDI producers, 2013
  • New MDI capacity under construction or being planned in China
  • Joint venture for MDI project
  • Import / export
  • Market for downstream insulation products
  • Consumption structure of MDI in China

CHINA NEWS

The recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Hydrogen peroxide plant
  • Shale gas project
  • Potash project in Inner Mongolia
  • Silicon compounds project in China

NEWS ROUND UP - INDIA

The recent developments on the following subject is discussed.

  • Cosmetic plants at Baddi, Hardwar plants

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

The recent technology developments on the following products are discussed

  • Protein engineering platform technology
  • BHEL develops new boiler for power generation
  • A green way to colour plastics sans dyes

AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

Recent development in the agro chemical field is discussed

  • Gel to save water while multiplying yields - Pusa Hydrogel
  • Rhodiola - Herb to regulate immune system
  • Endosulfan
  • Ban on pesticides hazardous to nature, biodiversity

GOVERNMENT MAY EXEMPT CRITICAL DRUGS
FROM LOCAL CLINICAL TRIALS

Under the current norms in India, all new drugs which have not been used in India have to undergo trials on a specified minimum number of patients to get a marketing approval from the Drug Controller General of India. However, the drug regulator can grant exemption from trial in 'public interest'.

The Government has been reviewing the policy since May 2012.

The Government of India has now decided to draw up a list of serious and life threatening diseases and ailments that are particularly relevant to India, for which a new drug can be considered for exemption from local clinical trials, if it has already been approved and marketed safely in developed countries such as the United States, UK, Canada, Japan and Australia.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED MICRO ORGANISMS TO MAKE DRUGS

The idea of using genetically modified micro-organisms to make drugs is not new. Mostly, though, those drugs are “biologics” in other words, proteins for which no standard chemical synthesis is possible. Such biologics include erythropoietin (which promotes the growth of red blood cells), human growth factor and insulin. The modification needed to create a biologic is the addition of but a single gene, namely the gene for the protein in question. The micro organism’s natural protein-making machinery will then do the rest. Such single gene transfers are not normally counted as synthetic biology.

The above subject is further discussed in this article.

PHARMA PAGE

Recent development in the pharma field is discussed

  • 'Nanosheets' to protect from burn wound infections
  • 'Plantibodies' drugs
  • New drug  to restore hair growth in bald patients

ENERGY PAGE

The recent developments on the following energy fields are discussed

  • 29 hydro projects await evaluation
  • Recycling  old batteries into solar cells
  • Transparent solar devices
  • Indian natural gas / crude oil production drop in July
  • Cost saving hybrid towers
OTHER ARTICLES
  • Price details
  • Spot price of plastis in China - Period 2014
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during June 2014
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