Axiall forms joint venture in India for PVC compounds

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Satnam Singh Kevin A. Skrada, general manager international, left, with Ajay S. Shriram, chairman and senior managing director DCM Shriram Ltd. at the Vinyl India conference in Mumbai.

MUMBAI, INDIA — India’s diversified conglomerate DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd. and Atlanta-based Axiall Corp. LLC have kicked off a PVC compounding joint venture.

The 50/50 joint venture is operating from Shriram’s Kota, India, plant, which manufactures chemicals including PVC resin. Axiall picked up a 50 percent stake in the Shriram Vinyl Polytech subsidiary.

Kevin Skrada, general manager international for Axiall, said the company was scouting for a partner in India for quite some time.

“Shriram is a compounder and a 120-year-old company with a respectable brand image that would give us an ideal platform to kick-start in this growing market,” he said.

Axiall will pump in about $6 million in the venture to introduce new technologies to serve customers in markets including household appliances, pipe and fittings, he said.

“Initially, we bring the products from our North American [operations] and start manufacturing the same in India over a period of time,” he said.

India’s PVC market is currently around 100 million pounds, and growing at a double-digit pace. Axiall believes that India’s emerging middle class needs infrastructure, cars and housing, which will support growth.

“Initially, the focus [of the joint venture] remains on developing the market in India, [but] it would be followed by servicing the adjoining markets. India is ideally located and Asian and African markets would be served from here,” Skrada said.

DCM Shriram is a diversified company with business in agriculture, chemicals, plastics, cement, textiles and energy services. DCM Shriram transferred its PVC compounding business to Shriram Vinyl last year.