A Centre’s green panel has deferred its decision on granting environment clearance to state-run Indian Oil Corporation’s Rs 593 crore Styrene and Ethylene project at Panipat in Haryana, for want of more information. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) has proposed setting up of Styrene and Ethylene recovery units in the existing Panipat Naphtha Cracker Complex (PNCC) at a cost of Rs 593 crore.
Presently, there is no Styrene producer in the country and entire quantity is imported by Indian Synthetic Rubber Limited (ISRL). Since IOCL is a 50 per cent equity holder of ISRL, the proposed project will ensure steady supply of Styrene to the Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) unit of ISRL.
“The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) examined the IOCL’s proposal in the recent meeting. After detailed deliberation, the Committee sought additional information,” a senior Environment Ministry official said. The EAC has asked IOCL to provide reasons for high carbon monoxide (CO) in ambient air and measure sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from the existing unit and any additional SO2 emission from the proposed unit.
The company has been told to submit the action taken report on observations made by the Ministry’s officials during a site visit to the butadiene plant. “The proposal was deferred till the desired information is submitted and site visit is conducted by the sub-committee of EAC,” the official said.
The Panipat Naphtha Cracker Complex (PNCC) processes naphtha to produce ethylene and propylene streams for polymer units and Pyrolysis gasoline stream as by-product. Pyrolysis Gasoline is a feedstock for production of high purity Styrene. As per the proposal, IOCL will set up a standalone unit at PNCC with a capacity to recover 20 kilo tonnes per annum (KTA) Styrene using Pyrolysis Gasoline as a feedstock. The Styrene recovered from here would be supplied to the Styrene Butadiene Rubber (SBR) plant at the same location.
SBR, which has an installed capacity of 120 KTA, at present uses Butadiene from PNCC as major feed stock along with 25 KTA of Styrene. IOCL has also proposed another unit – Ethylene Recovery Unit (ERU), inside the PNCC to extract Ethylene (18.8 KTA), Ethane (73.6 KTA) and Propylene (12 KTA) from off gas of Panipat Refinery. Panipat Refinery, which was set up in 1998, is the seventh refinery belonging to IOCL and is one of South East Asia’s largest integrated petrochemical plants.