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                     HIGHLIGHTS OF ARTICLES FROM  FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE OF

                                              NANDINI CHEMICAL JOURNAL

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME OF THE ARTICLES
  • WHY  INVESTMENT  IN CHEMICAL  PROJECTS
  • NOT  PICKING  UP IN INDIA ?
  • BIO EPICHLOROHYDRIN – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
  • MONO ETHYLENE GLYCOL – PRODUCT PROFILE
  • HOW DO OIL SPILL OUT AT SEA TYPICALLY GET CLEANED UP?
  • PROTEST  AGAINST PEPSI & COLA BY TAMIL NADU TRADERS MISPLACED
  • INDIA’S POSITION IN GLOBAL INDEX   OF TALENT COMPETITIVENESS
  • GLOBAL LNG DEMAND TREND – FINDINGS OF THE STUDY
  • INTERFACE OF LNG TO POWER PLANTS - EMERGING TREND IN MARKETING LNG
  • PROPOSED PETROCHEMICAL PROJECTS IN IRAN
  • PROPOSED PETROCHEMICAL PROJECTS IN ABU DHABI
  • TARGET FOR COAL BED METHANE DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA
  • PROPOSED PROJECTS FOR POLYLACTIC ACID FROM CORN STOCKPILE IN CHINA
  • FLUORINE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN CHINA
  • WASTE TO ENERGY PLANTS IN INDIA
  • ANTI DUMPING PAGE
  • NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL
  • CHINA NEWS
  • NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA
  • TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
  • ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE
  • OTHER ARTICLES
TALK OF THE MONTH

WHY INVESTMENT IN CHEMICAL PROJECTS NOT PICKING UP IN INDIA ?

In spite of several proactive policies of Government of India and the steps taken to promote ease of doing business, the investments in chemical industries in India have not gone up in any significant manner in the last two years. This is surprising, since there are several favourable factors in India at present, that would influence the growth of chemical industries in the country.

One of the chief drivers for the growth of chemical industry is the rise in demand for the chemical and allied products. In India , due to the overall economic and GDP growth, the demand for several chemical products have been increasing steadily in recent years. Unfortunately, the steady growth in demand for chemical products are increasingly being met by import, rather than increase in domestic production. Obviously, capacity is not being built in the country in tune with the growth in the demand.

It is necessary to carefully investigate as to why such piquant situation exists in the chemical industrial sector in India

Strange scenes are witnessed where existing producers have suspended the production and instead have become traders of the imported products, instead of creating adequate new capacity to meet the raising demand. There are number of case studies to illustrate this such as vinyl acetate monomer.

Frequently cited reasons

It is generally argued that the inadequate investment capability of the project promoters to set up large scale projects of globally competitive size is one of the main reasons for the tardy progress of chemical industries.

It is also said that inadequate technology expertise and dependence on the overseas organizations for technical know how for setting up and operating projects is another constraint.

A third cause attributed is the reluctance of the Indian companies to operate in the tough competitive global market, where extensive technological and marketing expertise are essential prerequisites to penetrate the export market.

What mind set of project promoters ?

While all the above reasons could be true to some extent, one cannot ignore the fact that there may be problems in the mindset of the project promoters themselves. Most of them appear to be opting for safe investments with least risk factors, which is not wrong by itself. However, this attitude may also reflect on the lack of confidence amongst the Indian players vis a vis their overseas competitors with whom they have to inevitably compete in the international market.

Of course, some of the problems like lack of adequate petrochemical feedstock , constraints in land acquisition etc. are genuine.

Further, while the Indian demand is rising, the demand level for several products in India are still not high enough to set up large scale projects keeping only the Indian market in view.

Such scenario has created the condition where export marketing capability is an essential aspect of the new projects. Trading houses in India operating in the export market are not many and number of them still have not adequately equipped themselves in terms of reach and expertise.

Need for particular focus on speciality chemicals

Given the above scenario, it would be appropriate for Indian chemical industry to focus in such areas, where India has particular strength and  particularly in speciality chemicals which can be produced in a multi product versatile facility.

In the case of such speciality chemicals, the required investment would be appropriate in tune with the investment capability of many project promoters in India.

Lack of R&D thrust

Indian entrepreneurs are not able to exploit the investment opportunities in speciality chemicals due to constraints in technology. In this context, it has to be necessarily pointed out that the efforts and investments in carrying out research and development activities in India to develop and optimise  technology is grossly inadequate.

While Government of India has set up several CSIR labs and has been  spending several thousand crores of rupee year  after  year in maintaining them , the performance and achievements of CSIR labs leave much to be desired. They have failed to stand up to the expectations and needs and justify the investments made in them by Government of India

In the R&D front, the investment efforts by private sector are at negligible level and it appears that many of them use the R&D facilities more for quality optimization and trouble shooting exercise and not for basic technology development activities to the level of the need.

The failure of the private sector and the government owned CSIR labs in the technology development front are costing the country dearly.

All said and done, it can be justifiably pointed out that inadequate technology expertise and dependence on overseas support for technology is the basic and primary reason for lack of growth, which inhibit the capacity build up efforts

With heavy dependence on import of technology, the new projects can be set up only to the extent that the overseas organizations are willing to share the technology and provide the necessary technological and engineering support.

This largely explains  as to why investments in chemical projects are not taking place at the required level.

BIO EPICHLOROHYDRIN – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Epichlorohydrin is an important petrochemical  that has application in growth oriented sector such as epoxy resin. Presently, epichlorohydrin is not produced in India and Indian demand is met by import.

The only producer  of synthetic epichlorohydrin was Tamil Nadu Petroproducts Limited and it ceased production  in 2013.

Bio technology route has been developed for the production of epichlorohydrin from glycerin and hydrochloric acid. Commercial plants for bio epichlorohydrin are in operation  abroad.

Bio based epichlorohydrin is market-competitive, drop-in replacement for synthetic epichlorohydrin, with exactly similar physico chemical properties.

Bio epichlorohydrin project is an appropriate investment opportunity in India.

Molecular formula           :C3H5ClO

Appearance                   :Clear liquid with chloroform like odour.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Product application
  • Indian Import/export of synthetic epichlorohydrin
  •  Pattern of country wise import
  • Bio based route for epichlorohydrin
  • Bio epichlorohydrin processdeveloped by Solvay Epicerol technology
  • Process description 
  • Advantages of bio based epichlorohydrin
  • Global scenario
  • Global demand
  • Global producers
MONO ETHYLENE GLYCOL – PRODUCT PROFILE

Chemical Formula          : C2H6O2

CAS No.                        :107-21-1

Producer Specifications

Name of the producer        Hunstman Corporation, USA

Grade                                 Anti freeze grade

 

Property

Specifications

Acidity (as acetic acid), wt%

0.01 max.

Appearance

Clear and substantially free of suspended matter

Ash, wt.%

0.01 max.

Chlorides, ppm

3 max.

Color, Pt-Co

20 max.

Ethylene glycol, wt.%

95 min.

Water, wt%

0.50 max.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Applications
  • Technology
  • Indian Scenario
    • Indian import
    • Pattern of countrywise import
    • Indian export
    • Pattern of countrywise  export 
    • Indian producers and proposed projects
  • Demand trends
  • Global scenario
  • Global demand
  • Major players in USA
  • Producers in Europe
  • New proposed capacities
  • Scenario in China
  • China’s supply and demand
  • Coal based MEG plants in China
  • New Project under planning / implementation in the world
OIL SPILL NEAR ENNORE PORT IN INDIA- INEXPERIENCE OF RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES EXPOSED

More than a metric tonne of heavy fuel oil spilled into the sea when the LPG carrier BW Maple and oil tanker Dawn Kanchipuram collided off Ennore Port in Chennai on  28th January,2017 . 

It appears that the oil likely leaked out when Maple cut into fuel oil pipelines on Kanchipuram’s deck.  It is also likely that fuel transfer within the ship was going on during the collision, which probably explains how oil gushed out from the pipelines into the sea, leaving telltale signs on the hull of oil tanker Dawn Kanchipuram. 

Heavy fuel oil, the thick distillate that ships burn has been a part of the oil spill.

Due to wave action and the southern current, the spill spread some 34 km till Vettuvankeni in the south, making patterns in the sand.

The immediate response of the agencies concerned has been confusing and is not up to solving the oil slick.

The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal ordered notices to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Central Pollution Control Board with regard to the oil spill.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • The adverse impact
  • Guidelines
  • The action
HOW DO OIL SPILL OUT AT SEA TYPICALLY GET CLEANED UP?

Each oil spill has unique aspects that call for careful consideration when deciding which tool to use.

No two oil spills are the same because of the variation in oil types, locations, and weather conditions involved

Responders keep an array of response methods in their toolkit for dealing with oil in offshore waters: which include skimming and booming, in situ burning and applying dispersants.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Natural means
  • Skimming
  • Booming
  • In situ burning:
  • Chemical dispersants:
  • Biodegradation
  • Research efforts of Empa
PROTEST AGAINST PEPSI & COCA COLA BY TAMIL NADU TRADERS MISPLACED

It is surprising that Traders Association in Tamil Nadu represented by Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaippu have declared that they would not sell soft drinks and mineral water that are produced and sold in Tamil Nadu by multi national companies namely PepsiCo and Hindustan Coca cola .

It appears that the traders have taken this decision to support the sale of home grown soft drink brands in Tamil Nadu. It is also interpreted as a move to promote soft drinks that are made from natural sources such as torino , bovonto and others and not with synthetic ingredients.

In the case of either of these reasons, the decision of the Tamil Nadu traders to boycott Pepsi and Cola appear to be the case of error of judgement.

While the traders are entitled to have their own views, they need to provide appropriate and justifiable reasons to convince others that their decisions are fair. However, it appears that decision is not fair. On the other hand, it looks that the decision has been taken with a view to develop hatred against the brand of multi national companies.

The following details are discussed in this article.

  • Why prejudice against selected multi national brands ?
  • Do the traders want to stop sale on health grounds ?
  • Now, what impact on Tamil  Nadu products abroad?
  • Appeal to Tamil Nadu traders :
INDIA’S POSITION IN GLOBAL INDEX OF TALENT COMPETITIVENESS

India has slipped three places to the 92nd position on a global index of talent competitiveness that measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent.  India’s ranking is worst among the BRICS countries.

                 Top 10

Rank 2017 (change from 15-16)

Country

Score

1 (0)

Switzerland

74.55

2 (0)

Singapore

74.09

3 (4)

UK

69.4

4 (0)

USA

69.34

5 (1)

Sweden

69.14

6 (7)

Australia

69.06

7 (-4)

Luxembourg

68.66

8 (-3)

Denmark

68.59

9 (1)

Finland

68.56

10 (-2)

Norway

68.01

 

Select Countries

 

28 (2)

Malaysia

56.22

54 (-6)

China

45.34

56 (-3)

Russian

45.03

67 (-10)

South Africa

42.75

73 (-4)

Thailand

41.5

81 (-14)

Brazil

38.99

82 (1)

Sri Lanka

38.88

90 (0)

Indonesia

36.81

92 (-3)

India

35.65

111 (-8)

Pakistan

29.67

The GTCI 2017 index, which assessed a total of 118 countries, was released by INSEAD, produced in partnership with The Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore

 

GLOBAL LNG DEMAND TREND – FINDINGS OF THE STUDY

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices falling to the lowest in a decade last year spurred fresh demand while suppressing investment in new production, potentially leading to shortages and price spikes next decade, according to a new Bloomberg New Energy Finance report.

Global annual Liquefied natural gas (LNG) consumption is seen rising to 422 million metric tonne by 2030, almost two thirds higher than last year and almost 13 percent above BNEF’s previous forecast in June.

Buyers are poised to take advantage of an array of under construction projects expected to come online over the next few years, which will keep fuel prices low.

Small LNG buyers are key to the new demand growth. Countries that imported less than 5 million metric tonne a year accounted for 19 percent of total consumption last year, up from 15 percent in 2014. Those nations will account for 31 percent of global use by 2030, larger than the combined volume from China and India.

China, India and a few of smaller countries increased buying after prices fell and as they sought to shift to the cleaner burning fuel amid air pollution from burning coal.

Demand from the world’s two largest users, Japan and South Korea, is expected to decline or remain flat through next decade. Japan in particular, with several supply contracts from the U.S. about to go into effect, will emerge as an important LNG merchant as it redirects unneeded cargoes elsewhere.

While demand is seen growing faster than previously forecast, the recent price crash has left about 250 million metric tonne a year of supply projects shelved or delayed indefinitely.

INTERFACE OF LNG TO POWER PLANTS - EMERGING TREND IN MARKETING LNG

LNG suppliers are looking for new markets, since LNG supply scenario is leading to surplus conditions.

As demand for electricity increases in developing nations, LNG producers are offering to supply both fuel and a power plant in partnership agreements that can boost consumption of LNG. For their customers, primarily governments, it means dealing with a single entity responsible for every link in the chain.

As many as five projects are being planned globally for development as integrated LNG to power facility.

LNG producers Cheniere Energy Inc. and Total SA have package deals in the planning stage, while power plant constructor Siemens AG and vessel providers such Hoegh LNG Holdings Ltd. offer their input as partners.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Surplus LNG scenario
  • Price fall of LNG
  • Siemens AG’s plans
  • Investment factors
  • Plans of Cheniere Energy Inc
  • Other details
  • Developing Nations Lead Power Demand Growth

 

PROPOSED PETROCHEMICAL PROJECTS IN IRAN

In the wake of the partial lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, investment in petro chemical projects in Iran are likely to increase significantly.

Iran’s gas reserves are second-largest after Russia.

Iran aims to raise its overall petrochemical capacity in stages from 64 million metric  tonne per year  to 100 million metric tonne per year over the next five years. A quarter of that total is expected to be based at Chabahar under the Mokran project.

Chabahar will source its gas feedstock from the IGAT7 pipeline that links Assaluyeh to Iranshahr, Iran, and onward to Chabahar.

The Ministry of Petroleum (Tehran) has announced that 30 million metric tonne per day of natural gas is being allocated to phase one of the Mokran project.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Mokran Petrochemical Complex
  • Subsidiaries of Shastan
  • Other petrochemical complex projects
  • Shastan ownership of Iran’s petrochemicals sector
  • Methanol projects
PROPOSED PETROCHEMICAL PROJECTS IN ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, has embarked on an expansion plan that includes doubling of petrochemical capacity, enter the aromatics business and building an export-oriented refinery.

The plans were approved recently by the government and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) would be the main investor.

Meanwhile, the long planned petrochemical investment by ChemaWEyaat, in which the International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Council each hold 40% and ADNOC 20%, is under review and its projects may be scrapped.

The following details are discussed in this article

  • Project of Borouge
  • Project of ADNOC
TARGET FOR COAL BED METHANE DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

China aims to raise coalbed methane (CBM) gas production to 10 billion m3 and coal mine gas extraction volume to 14 billion m3 by 2020, according to targets in the 13th Five Year Plan for Coalbed Methane Development and Utilization, issued by the National Energy Administration (NEA) on December 5.

China is encouraging the development of CBM. The sector, which is small in scale and less competitive at present, urgently needs reforms. 

In order to achieve the targets, the plan listed main tasks in the four areas of exploration, development, transportation & utilization, and scientific and technological innovation.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

PROPOSED PROJECTS FOR POLYLACTIC ACID FROM CORN STOCKPILE IN CHINA

China's plan to get rid of its massive corn stockpile by using it as raw material for its fledgling biodegradeable plastics industry.

The policy marks a significant shift for the government and its food-security fixation, which has long made it reluctant to promote the non-food use of grains in a country that endured three years of famine in 1958-61. It also illustrates how the corn mountain - and a market soaked in bumper U.S. crops - is forcing policymakers into new territory.

Above subject is further discussed in this article.

FLUORINE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY IN CHINA

Resource advantage

The fluorine chemical sector mainly uses fluorite as raw material.  China’s proven reserves of fluorite (CaF2) have reached 260 million metric tonne.

As the domestic regions with rich fluorite resources have all established fluorine chemical industrial parks,  the capacity is more than the need.

In 2015, China accounted for 39% of the world’s consumption of fluorine chemical products.

The fluorine refrigerant (Freon) is one of the main products of fluorine chemical sector

Following details are discussed in this article.

  • Steady growth
  • Fluorine refrigerant
  • Other details
WASTE TO ENERGY PLANTS IN INDIA

The innovations in waste to energy technologies worldwide have been focusing on pyrolysis, gasification and plasma gasification which can deliver cleaner emissions but are considerably more expensive.

Incineration based Waste to energy plants and RDF combustion based plants rely on mass burning of municipal solid waste, which involves complete combustion (burning) of miscellaneous waste materials into ash.

Depending on what is being combusted, the gases that are generated in the incineration and RDF combustion based plans may contain dioxins and furans, which are toxic. These plants, therefore, need to put in place emission control filters of very high standard in order to check the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere.

A number of waste to energy plants are coming up in India, using technologies such as incineration, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) based combustion, or pyrolysis and gasification.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Plants based on incineration
  • Plant based on RDF combustion
  • Plant based on pyrolysis gasification
  • Pysolysis gasification and plasma gasification plant
  • Economic factors in India
ANTI DUMPING PAGE

The antidumping measures introduced in the last few weeks on the following product  is discussed

  • Colour coated steel
NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • ABS resin plant in Mexico
  • Methane-based protein project in USA
  • Propane plant in Japan
  • Methionine plant in Japan
  • PET plant in Russia
  • Precipitated silica plant in US
  • Tencel fiber plant at Alabama,USA
  • Ethylene capacity hike in South Korea
  • OLED materials plant in South Korea
CHINA NEWS

The recent developments in China are discussed in the following articles

  • PP Project
  • Polysilicon expansion project
  • Coal to liquid demonstration project
  • Methanol to olefin project in Maoming
NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Vibrant Gujarat-Investments Achieved
  • Strategic crude oil reserve facility at Mangaluru
  •  PY-3 oil field

 

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

Recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • New silver catalyst to help fight smog
  • Batteries that don't catch fire
  • Biogas based on kitchen-waste
  • Button sized batteries to  power cars, devices
  • Power from biomimetic tree
  • Solar powered water purifier
AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

Recent developments  in the agro fields are discussed in the following articles

  • Proposal  to ban on use of 18 pesticides harmful to humans and animals in India
  • Biodegradable bullets to sprout plants in USA
  • Plant traits to improve crop yield
  • Indian pepper may be a cancer fighter
  • Active compounds in turmeric, onion help fight colon cancer
  • Crop protection products for rice
PHARMA PAGE

Recent developments in the pharma fields are discussed in the following articles

  • Europe fast embracing ayurveda alongside modern medicine
  • GM mosquitoes to fight dengue
  • Simplifed oral cholera vaccine
ENERGY PAGE

Recent developments in the energy fields are discussed in the following articles

Global new investment in clean energy

  • The oil price cushion: Not as comforting as a year ago
  • India's oil consumption trend-Findings of the study
  • Adani Group’s Solar Power Project in Tamil Nadu - World's Largest Plant in a single location
ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE
  • New fuel norm: Mandatory from 2020
  • E-waste in Asia:  Findings of UN study
OTHER ARTICLES
  • SPOT PRICE OF POLYMERS  IN CHINA – PERIOD JANUARY,2017
  • TENDERS
  • CHEMICALS IMPORTED AT THE CHENNAI PORT- DURING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER 2016