FORESEEING A substantial opportunity in petrochemical production in India, expert panelists at the seminar on “leveraging technology for Gujarat’s next leap towards global leadership (chemical and petrochemicals)” during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit said that Gujarat had unique opportunity to take the lion’s share of the growth in petrochemical industries, with a significant petroleum refining and petrochemical base and flourishing ports.
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Bipin Vora, who has retired from the Universal Oil Products (UOP) and works as an independent consultant and advisor to UOP, said, “We have a substantial gap in capacity versus the demand. India’s growth rate can support one million metric tonne of olefin plant every year new capacity for the next two decades, that certainly is a very large opportunity.”
On growth numbers, Vora said, “India has become the third largest economy in the world now. With India’s growth rate of 7-7.5 per cent, petrochemical growth is expected to 1.5 times, that means about 11 per cent growth of petrochemical industry. India in 1988 ranked 16 in polymer consumption. By 2000, it ranked 9 and in 2015, we are ranked third after the US and China. There has been a continuous growth of India polymer and petrochemical industry.”
Another panelist, Deepak Mehta, chairman, FICCI national chemicals committee, said that there was huge potential in Gujarat for castor-based products. “Gujarat is the biggest player in the world in castor and getting into castor-based derivatives, there are still a lot of these castor-based products that can be made, which are both green and cost-competitive.” “Now, you find that agro-chemicals are growing, pharmaceuticals are growing and all of these require intermediates. This is where Gujarat has a lot of opportunities. It has very good base of basic chemicals, like soda ash, caustic soda acids, like hydrochloric acid and chlorine. It has a good market. What it needs to bring in is more of chemical intermediates. Looking at the future, I believe more and more products are taking advantage of Gujarat’s strength,” he added.
“On per capita consumption, North America’s per capita consumption is little more than 50 kilogram , China is about 33, Asia 15-18 kilogram while India is 7-8 kilogram. Even if we move from 7-8 to middle-rank like the Eastern Europe, China and Middle East range, this means a four-fold increased consumption demand in India,” Vora said.