Although Reliance Industries Ltd. rules the roost, there's plenty of growth to go around for India's resin makers.
Calcutta, India-based Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. will spend about $140 million to add more than 300 million pounds of polyethylene capacity and more than 200 million pounds of polypropylene capacity through debottleneckings by the end of 2007, according to Swapan Dhara, vice president of strategic planning and business development.
``We believe that India can average plastics growth of between 8 and 12 percent for the near future,'' Dhara said. ``There will be strong demand for packaging, automotive and white goods.''
Packaging grades now make up about one-third of Haldia's sales, but it is working to introduce ``a mixed basket of grades with niche appeal,'' he said. The firm holds Indian market shares of 32 percent in high density PE, 36 percent in linear low density PE and 18 percent in PP, ranking second to Reliance in each category.
In Panipat, India, state-owned Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. has drawn up an ambitious plan for forward integration into petrochemicals using products from its refineries, according to V.K. Khurana, deputy general manager of petrochemical projects. Included in the project is a 1.3 billion-pound-capacity PP unit and a 770 million-pound PE unit. IOC has supplied downstream raw materials such as naphtha and also supplies about 4 percent of India's propylene monomer supply.
``We will be breaking ground soon and hope to open in 2009,'' Khurana said. ``We will be looking at exporting 20-30 percent of the output from the hub to Pakistan, Africa and Europe.''
In Paradip, on India's east coast, IOC is planning a complex with 1.8 billion pounds of annual ethylene feedstock capacity.
Supreme Petrochem Ltd. plans to add more than 440 million pounds of polystyrene capacity in Nagothane by 2008, giving the firm about 1.1 billion pounds of total PS capacity there, said R. Rangarajan, head of exports and marketing. A new, 130 million-pound-capacity expanded PS plant will open there by March 2007; a compounding plant there will receive a boost of about 140 million pounds. Supreme expects its export volume to grow almost 80 million pounds in 2006, reaching almost 300 million pounds.
Other Indian resin expansions on the horizon - according to Chemical Market Resources Inc. of Houston - include:
* Chemplast Sanmar Ltd., 375 million pounds of PVC set for the state of Tamil Nadu in 2008.
* Finolex Industries Ltd., with 290 million pounds of PVC set for Mumbai in 2006.
* Gas Authority of India Ltd., 510 million pounds of PE set for Auraiya, India, in 2006 and 2007.
* LG Chem Ltd., 180 million pounds of PS set for Vishakhapatnam, India, in 2008 and 2010.