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Extracts from Nandini Chemical Journal, March 2016

Highlights of Some of the Articles
GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN CHEMICAL INDUSTRY SHOULD INCREASE SEVERAL FOLD It is a matter of high concern that the investment in chemical projects by way of setting up new projects or expansion of existing ones have slowed down  in  recent years. It is not hard to prove that capacity creation in chemical industry have fallen way behind. This is clearly evident from the increasing import trend of several chemicals in India due to want of adequate capacity build up in the country,  with India becoming net importer of  number of chemicals. A few examples of import trend Case study – Chemicals not produced  in India - Import growth - from April 2010 to March 2015 Product Import in tonne Period (April to March) 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 Average annual growth (AAGR ) in %
From April 2010 to March 2015
Acrylic acid 11688 12534 16407 16668 20841 15.6 L-Lysine 14708 17727 22879 31005 36196 25.2 Sea water magnesia 10500 16899 14995 14761 13449 6.4 Polycarbonate 105264 116029 122742 123434 124554 4.3 Polyacetal 19191 21082 25933 26266 32604 14.2 EPDM rubber 28391 29231 28373 30346 33348 4.1
The above figures indicate that  import has been steadily increasing, with no immediate prospects of  domestic capacity build up for such chemicals. Case study – Chemicals produced  in India - Production growth vis-a-vis import growth
Production (in tonne) in %
AAGR from
Apr 2010 to Mar 2014
Import (in tonne)  in %
AAGR from
Apr 2010 to Mar 2014 
Product 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 Acetone 50540 42800 37050 28580 -17.1 78236 100637 95939 116758 126832 12.8 Acrylonitrile 38000 38000 33000 37000 -0.9 72618 77357 81964 100862 97388 7.6 Aniline 41050 40090 48230 40620 -0.3 24012 15310 15441 31742 36095 10.7 Butanol 18000 22000 14000 5000 -34.5 25381 31564 36290 44683 39378 11.6 Carbon black 452440 447670 404020 406410 -3.5 74905 124338 143461 145939 135790 16.0 CBFS 210825 215130 219520 224000 2 48005 168293 135651 264372 169407 37.1 Hydrogen peroxide 130806 115106 143020 181189 11.4 37073 25312 33128 62527 56319 11.0 Isopropyl alcohol 67000 71000 70000 76000 4.2 40556 33441 55724 51287 57660 9.2 Methanol 374530 359930 254910 307260 -6.3 813422 1199635 1398982 1310438 1639628 19.2 Octanol
(2-ethyl hexanol)
29000 49000 50000 20000 -11.5 34155 29184 58418 100495 134894 41
Phenol 79810 65930 59920 46390 -16.4 123490 146762 172758 214098 200115 12.8 Soda ash 2298760 2410820 2437790 2392170 1.3 489956 445363 692866 569452 725517 10.3 Titanium dioxide 64020 52140 50140 52780 -6.2 101049 160531 83949 138,335 120,217 4.4 Toluene 128000 132000 108000 120000 -2.1 187442 245391 307145 263759 287876 11.3
The above figures indicate that production is decreasing and import is increasing for several chemicals. Import growth from April 2010 to March 2015 
Case study - Chemicals once produced and now not produced in India
Product Import ( in  metric tonne) Period : April to March 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 Average annual growth (AAGR)
in %
From Apr 2010 to Mar 2015
Acrylic ester (butyl acrylate) 95387 146,944 165,720 180,524 142,267 10.5 Citric acid 44102 53142 56743 64099 67368 11.2 Poly vinyl alcohol 22647 22104 27935 25958 38575 14.2 Vinyl acetate monomer 85369 124726 127536 147364 139553 13.1 Epichlorohydrin 
(Stopped manufacturing   in 2013)
19786 19068 19108 22985 33588 14.1
The above figures indicate that India has totally stopped production of number of  chemicals which it was producing earlier and has now resorted to import the entire requirement of the country. Delayed projects
While a few projects such as IOC’s Paradip Refinery in Odisha,  Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited  (BCPL).’s petrochemical complex in Assam have been commissioned after prolonged delay, large project of Nagarjuna  Oil Corporation  Ltd ., in Cuddalore,  Tamil Nadu, which is a petro chemical complex under implementation, has been delayed by several years and one is not sure even today as to when it would be commissioned. There are projects like Matix Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd. in  West Bengal and its commissioning has been delayed  due to uncertainty in the availability of  coal bed methane for the project. 
Slow down in small scale sector
A few decades back, small scale chemical industries had significant presence in the Indian chemical industry, but this is no more so,  as  several small scale chemical industries have folded up due to variety of reasons.

Slow down in setting up new small and medium scale chemical projects cause even more  concern, as nothing much appear to be happening. The reason for the drop in investment in small and medium scale chemical projects can not be due to want of resources or investment capability, as there appear to be lot of money in circulation in the country.

Growth of small scale chemical industry can be facilitated, in the event of medium and large scale chemical projects being set up. In such case, many opportunities would arise for investment in  small scale chemical industries  for manufacturing and supplying auxiliary chemicals etc. to medium and large scale units . In the event of  the capacity in large and medium scale projects not being stepped up, the prospects for investment in small scale sector would inevitably suffer.
Project promoters remain confused
Obviously, the chemical project promoters remain confused about taking investment decisions. 
This sorry state, may be partly due to the liberal import policy of Government of India  in view of  WTO compulsions and lack of confidence amongst most segment of Indian chemical industry to compete with imported product even in the domestic market. Constraints in technology front and lack of conducive climate for setting up chemical manufacturing units have also shaken the confidence of the project promoters and curtailed their enthusiasm.
Non availability of suitable land for the projects, problems in land acquisition  due to protest from local groups and whipping up agitation by the vested interests, prolonged time taken for providing environmental clearance, obstacles posed by environmental activists and impediments created by trade union and local politicians in smooth running of the projects, apart from the red tapism  and corruption in government machinery, have made the project promoters to become hesitant  in venturing into projects. Pro active approach and dynamic leadership needed from state governments
There is no doubt  that Government of India  is trying to remove the bottlenecks at the central government level, but the state governments also need to play their role well.

What is required is pro active policies  and progressive environment  that should be facilitated  by the  central and state governments, to ensure smooth path way for the growth of the chemical and allied industries.

Government investment necessary
When private project promoters are not coming forward to set up chemical projects, both central and state governments should necessarily come forward to invest in chemical projects in a big way. This would help in  building confidence amongst the project promoters in private sector and they would then respond.

The government’s initiative to step up investment in chemical projects on its own or as joint venture with private sector will help in dispelling the misgivings of the project promoters in private sector.

After independence   upto the  period 1980s,  central and state governments  invested in many chemical projects entirely on their own or as joint ventures with private promoters. Only due to such policies and approach that the massive government owned chemical projects such as Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers,  Indian Petrochemical Corporation (Now taken over by Reliance Industries), GSFC and several others have come up, which have done lot of good to the growth of Indian chemical industries.

Such approach of the governments created huge enthusiasm amongst project promoters in the earlier  days, since the massive capacity creation by the government owned projects improved the demand for several related activities leading to all round growth,  Joint venture projects  are viewed favourably by the private sector, as they  have the backing of the government. 
In the present time, where we find project promoters are listless  and unsure, there is no alternative other than governments   taking the initiatives and venturing into chemical projects on their own.

Project investment  task should  not be left to private sector alone
Obviously, private promoters have failed to meet the expectations and  need of the country. They seem to be more comfortable to invest in service sectors or financial sector rather than manufacturing sector. 
This counter productive scenario have to be overcome,  which is possible only by the governments   leading from the front and investing in chemical projects, as it was done in the earlier period upto 1980s.
Biodiesel (chemically known as fatty acid methyl ester) is an alternative fuel to conventional diesel (obtained from crude petroleum). When vegetable oil or animal fat is chemically reacted with an alcohol (methanol) and catalyst (caustic soda or caustic potash or sodium methoxide), biodiesel is produced along with glycerine as by product. This process is called transesterification The feedstock (vegetable oil and fats) include the  following
  • Vegetable oils produced from oil seeds (like rape seeds / canola, soybean, sunflower, palm, jatropha, corn, cotton seed, etc)
  • Oil obtained from algae
  • Used cooking oil and grease (yellow, brown, etc)
  • Animal fat (beef tallow, poultry fat, pork fat, etc)
  • Fatty acids including palm fatty acid distillate
Biodiesel (B100) represents 100% biodiesel. The latest specification for B100 biodiesel fuel is ASTM D6751-07. Following details are discussed in this article
  • Biodiesel – Salient features
  • Comparative properties of diesel and biodiesel fuels
  • Selected producers of biodiesel in India
  • Selected producers of biodiesel in China
  • Selected producers of biodiesel in Brazil
  • Other selected biodiesel plants
  • Profile of  selected producers of biodiesel
  • Region / country wise capacity utilization for biodiesel
  • Anti dumping measure
  • Global top importers
  • Pattern of  country wise imports
  • Global top exporters
  • Pattern of  country wise exports
CAS No 6920-22-5 Molecular formula C6H14O2 Appearance Colourless liquid Synonyms 1,2 dihydroxyhexane, 1,2 hexyleneglycol
1,2 hexanediol is a 1,2 alkanediol. It is an ingredient that possesses antimicrobial activity. 
Specification Description Value Appearance Clear, colourless liquid Purity ~ 99.5 % Moisture content Not more than 2 % pH 6 to 8 Refractive index 1.435 to 1.445 Specific gravity 0.945 to 0.950 Solubility Soluble in water, methanol and ethyl acetate Following details are provided in this article
  • Product application
  • Selected global producers
  • Process 
  • Indian producers
  • Indian export
Chemical formula CH3(CH2)3CH=CH2 CAS No 592-41-6 Appearance Colourless liquid
Linear alpha olefin such as 1-hexene are used  mainly as comonomers in the production of linear low density polyethylene. Used as an intermediate in the production of oxo alcohols, hexyl mercaptans, organic aluminium compounds and synthetic fatty acids Also used in the production of the linear aldehyde heptanal via hydroformylation (oxo synthesis). Following details are provided in this article.
  • Important global producers
  • New  project for 1-hexene
  • Global production / demand Period: 2014
  • Region wise demand pattern for 1-hexene
  • Prognosis
The union budget submitted in Parliament on 29th February,2016 has been generally welcomed by cross section of the countrymen. Remarkable feature of the budget is that it has recognized that the growth of the agricultural sector and rural economy are as important  as growth of industrial sector/services sector and urban economy. The fact is that the growth of the agricultural sector and industrial /services sector are complimentary and should support each other. The repeated incidents of farmer’s suicides and news about agrarian crisis have disturbed the conscience of the country. Therefore, it is only appropriate and timely that the budget is focused on agricultural sector and rural economy in a significant way. What is particularly  interesting is that the focus on the agricultural sector and rural economy in the budget has been done in such a manner that industrial / services sector would be benefitted by the growth  of the agricultural sector and rural economy. In short, this is a win win situation for all sectors in the country. Highlights of the budget are briefly given below,  which reflects the stress on the complementary role of industrial / services sector and agricultural sector for the overall growth of the national economy. Following details are discussed in this article
  • Agriculture / fertiliser sector
  • Agribiotech research
  • Oil & gas sector
  • Renewable energy sector
  • Scheme for small entrepreneur / ‘startup in India’
  • Research and development sector
Nagarjuna Oil Corporation  is in the process of setting up  6-million metric tonne a year petroleum refinery in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. The refinery located at about 100 km south of Chennai on the east coast, is touted as the largest private sector investment in Tamil Nadu. Process plant works of this project commenced in July,2008. The project has been designated as the Anchor unit of the proposed Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) in Cuddalore/Nagapattinam Districts.

The project was to have been commissioned in 2002 at  cost of Rs.3,500 crore, but continuous delays and cost over-run have contributed to the project cost mounting to Rs.12,500  crore, with date of completion of the project still uncertain.
Following details are discussed in this article.
  • Investors in the project
  • Product range
  • Agreement
  • Infrastructure
  • Is the future uncertain?
India has  total refining capacity of about 230 million metric tonne, with about 80 million metric tonne capacity is owned by the private sector. Indian Oil Corp is the largest refiner in India with total installed capacity of about 80 million metric tonne per annum. Reliance Industries  built two massive refineries of 33 million metric tonne and 27 million metric tonne capacity each, neighbouring each other, in Jamnagar last decade. Not to speak, of course, of its petrochemicals complexes in Hazira and Jamnagar, which boast world scale capacities and world class technology. Government of India now proposes to set up a 60 million metric tonne capacity refinery on the west coast. This will be the largest single grassroots refinery ever built in India. In the public sector, the largest one ever built is Indian Oil’s recently commissioned Paradip refinery, which, at 15 million metric tonne, is a fourth of the proposed new refinery’s size. Is the Government of India’s proposal to build mega refinery too good to be true ? Following details are discussed in this article
  • Proposed project is appropriate
  • Proposed investors
  • Capacity
  • Land requirement
  • Product evacuation
  • Investment
  • Environmental approvals
A consortium of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and an arm of Essar Energy have struck natural gas in the Mumbai High fields, an ageing reservoir in the Arabian Sea. The consortium of ONGC and Essar Exploration and Production Ltd (Mauritius) is reported to have filed details of the discovery with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH). The Mumbai High fields have been flagging over the past decade, with ONGC undertaking several drilling campaigns here to revive the reservoir. The gas discovery was made in the first exploratory well of the Block MB-OSN-2005/3 in the Mumbai Offshore Basin, which the consortium bid for, as part of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) VII. The above subject is further discussed in this article.
With reference to the article on “Way to solve natural gas pipeline issue in Tamil Nadu”  (Nandini Chemical Journal, February,2016 issue) , Dr.D.M.Mohunta, senior chemical technologist  (, has made the following observations Points for consideration 1.         The farmer’s association recognizes the benefits of natural gas for industry, transportation and domestic use. 2.         It should be recognized that the type of agriculture practiced in the under dispute  is different from the usual cereal crops. 3.         As per the farmer’s  view, soil depth of 8 to10 ft is required for quality cultivation of  crops, appropriate for the region. 4.         Recognizing this, GAIL should lay the pipeline with a soil cover of 3 meters. 5.         If GAIL insists on only 5 feet soil cover, then there should be adequate compensation to the farmers, for loss of income. 6.          The compensation is not for the property. 7.         Right of way and right to use does not imply that a person’s means of income is rendered infructuous. 8.         The principles of compensation should be enunciated say 15 to 20 times the loss of income. 9.         This is based on the fact that fixed deposit in banks give approx. 8% and to this is to be added 10% towards inflation that is 8.8%. 10.         The pipeline route should be clearly mapped and exhibited in the public domain based on satellite imagery of 1 meter resolution. 11.        The pipeline should have ab-initio spur line connection points, that will take care of natural gas  supply to  say a minimum of 2000 households or small industrial clusters 12.         The distribution of gas from the trunk line can be by Gail, Gail-PPP, or GAIL- State-PPP. 13.        As far as I know, the rights of farmers to cultivate the land is not affected. There is disruption 
during laying of pipeline or at later date for repairs.
Somebody should take a delegation of the affected farmers  to Gujarat to see the reality. Gujarat has extensive gas pipeline system for imported gas and also  from producing wells.
Cryogenic freezing is an upcoming food processing technology that is gaining popularity because of the lower setup costs and improved food quality when compared to mechanical freezing. Cryogenic freezing involves freezing the outer layers of the food beyond its actual freezing point, while the inner part of the product remains warm. Cryogenic food freezing differs from mechanical ammonia or freon freezing systems. Cryogenic freezing technologies can be used to produce high quality frozen foods.Cryogenic freezing helps retain the freshness of the products that fetches a premium in major markets . Following details are discussed in this article
  • Advantages of cryogenic freezing in food processing industry
  • Application areas
  • Prospects for cryogenic freezing technology in India
Slag is a by-product of steel making and is produced during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel making furnaces,by processing iron ore. The slag occurs as a molten liquid melt and is a complex solution of silicates and oxides that solidifies upon cooling. Molten slag, which floats on the top of the molten iron ore, is separated and granulated. Granulation is the rapid quenching with water of the molten slag into solid. The slag produced at blast furnace during pig iron manufacturing is called blast furnace slag. The slag produced at steel melting shop is known as steel slag. Slag output obtained during pig iron and steel production is variable and depends mainly on composition of raw materials and type of furnace used. Typically, for iron ore feed containing 60 to 65% iron, blast furnace(BF) slag production ranges from about 300 to 540 kg per metric tonne of pig or crude iron produced. Lower grade ores yield much higher slag fractions, sometimes as high as one tonne of slag per metric tonne of pig iron produced. Steel slag output is approximately 20% by mass of the crude steel output. Following details are discussed in this article
  • Manufacturing processes of blast furnace slag (BFS) and their applications
  • Manufacturing processes of steel furnace slag (SFC) and their applications
  • Indian production
  • Indian export
  • Use of blast furnace slag in portland slag cement (PSC)
  • Global market for blast ferrous slag
  • Portland slag cement scenario in India
  • Share of production of different types of cement
  • Government of India’s initative
A biosimilar is a molecule that is close in structure and function as  biological drug. Small molecules are easy to make and characterise. Since the precise nature and function of biologicals are difficult to understand, it is hard to establish that two products are exactly the same. So, making a biosimilar is not as easy as making a generic small molecule, which is why we need to use a different measuring stick to estimate the potential of Indian Immunologicals,"but the challenges are many." Price factors Now, there are about 600 biosimilar products in development around the world, according to market research firm Roots Analysis. As the biologics are priced  high, it is necessary for countries to reduce prices through biosimilars. Regulations New products being introduced in the country now undergo more rigorous testing and evaluation, but the regulations are still in the form of guidelines and not formal procedures. Above subject is further discussed in this article.
PLANT CLOSURE The articles discusses about the closure of following plants
  • Koppers to close Pennsylvania coal tar distillation plant
  • PotashCorp halts operations in New Brunswick
ANTI DUMPING PAGE The antidumping measures introduced in  the last few weeks on the following products   are discussed
  • Phenol
  • Plastic processors
  • 2-Ethyl hexanol
  • n butanol / n butyl alcohol
  • Cold rolled steel
  • Ferroalloy
SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE  The articles discuss about the accidents that occurred in the following plants
  • Chemical plant blast in Hyderabad
  • Explosion at Dow’s North Andover, MA, site in USA
NEWS ROUND UP - INTERNATIONAL The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed
  • Relocated methanol plant at Geismar
  • Ethylene facility at Calvert City by 70 million lbs
  • UHMWPE  projects at TX, USA
  • PTA-PET project in Texas, USA
  • Precipated silica capacity at Lake Charles, USA
  • Surface modified fumed silica plant  in Japan
  • Touch screen panel production in Japan
  • OPS plant in Abu Dhabi
  • Approvals for two uses of HBCDD in EU
  • 21 new shale gas licenses to Ineos in UK
  • BP Expands scope of $16 billion natural gas project
  • Status of mega pipeline projects in Middle East countries
  • Ethane cracker projects in USA
Recent developments on the following products are discussed
  • Bio ethanol technology
  • Olefin metathesis technology
  • Stretch silicone elastomer
  • Catofin technology to build  dehydrogenation plant
  • Novel green fuel
  • Biobased building block precursor - FDME
  • New process for making cyclohexanone
  • New bio inspired material to harvest water from thin air
  • Polyurethane foam to clear oil spill
CHINA NEWS The recent developments  in China are discussed in the following articles
  • New rules on waste plastics recycling
  • Shale gas project in Fuling, Sichuan
  • OTC manufacturing site ,belonging to Bayer
NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed
  • Acrylic acid  project at Kochi
  • Polystyrene / SMMA project
  • New norms for refrigerators
AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE Recent development  in the agro  fields are  discussed in the following  article
  • Glyphosate
  • Scientists crack groundnut genome
PHARMA PAGE Recent developments  in the pharma  fields are  discussed in the following  articles
  • Fish oil based diet may help combat Alzheimer's disease
  • Anti malarial drug activity of garlic
  • Dabur inks pact with govt to produce malaria, diabetes drugs ENERGY PAGE
CRUDE OIL UNDERGROUND STORAGE IN INDIA India, which imports 79 percent of its crude oil needs, is building underground storages at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Mangaluru and Padur in Karnataka to store about  5.33  million metric tonne of crude oil to guard against global price shocks and supply disruptions. The Indian Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) will complete construction of the caverns in Mangaluru and Padur by 2016 . Above subject is further discussed in this article. Recent developments  in the energy  fields are  discussed in the following  articles
  • Plan for storage in 750-MW AP solar project
  • Mandatory for power firms to buy from solid waste plants
  • Solar power capacity may cross 20 GW mark in 2017
ENVIRONMENTAL PAGE Recent developments  in the environmental  fields are  discussed in the following  articles
  • Industry classification
  • Environmental regulations for thermal plants in India
  • Price details
    • Recent developments  in the price fields are  discussed in the following  articles
    • Ethane feedstock price in Saudi Arabia
    • US spot ethylene trades at seven year low
    • Methanol price
  • Spot price of polymers in China – Period February 2016
  • Tenders
  • Chemicals imported at Chennai port during the month of December 2015
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