Saturday, February 4

Bengal sniffs cash in chemical hub

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Bengal can attract investments worth Rs 14,000 crore in the chemicals and petrochemicals industry across different segments, according to estimates by KPMG.

The research firm has identified five key areas — synthetic (polyester) fibre value chain, polymer and plastic products, specialty chemicals, advanced materials such as synthetic rubber, bio polymer, coal and LNG to methanol and research and development — that will promote the state as a chemical innovation hub. The investment could lead to a direct generation of 28000 jobs, the research firm said.

At least Rs 5,000 crore worth of investment is expected in synthetic fibres where The Chatterjee Group firm MCPI is expected to set up a continuous polymerisation unit at Haldia.

TCG chairman Purnendu Chatterjee had said in the presence of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a gathering in Frankfurt that MCPI Pvt Ltd, which was acquired by TCG group from Mitsubishi Chemicals in 2016, that the company was expanding operations in Haldia to manufacture more purified terepthalic acid (PTA).

The PTA is a petrochemical intermediate product and a raw material used to make poly- ester fabric and plastic bottles. Industry sources said tpart of the PTA pro- duced in the eastern part of the country was now going to states such as Gujarat where they are converted into polyester fiber yarn, which is subsequently brought back for use by textile manufactures in the east, including many in Bengal.

“There is a potential to shift the entire value chain to Bengal and this would greatly benefit the downstream textile industry,” an industry official told The Telegraph.

MCPI is capable of producing both fibre as well as PET grade PTA, the official added. MCPI’s annual production capacity is to the tune of 1300 thousand tonnes of PTA.

“When the Japanese company had built the plant they did not think of downstream. So, what I have told (Purnendu) Chatterjee is to set up a continuous polymerisation plant. That will lead to a spinning mill. The spinning mill will then lead to further downstream in fabrics. I have told him that if you don’t do it, I have got a guy from Thailand who is ready to come and set it up,” said state finance and industries minister Amit Mitra at an exhibition organised by the Indian Plastics Federation on Saturday.

Aloke Lohia, founder and group CEO of Thailand-based Indorama Ventures, had participated in the state’s flagship investment summit this year.

KPMG has estimated that the state’s chemical and petrochemicals market would reach $8 billion by 2020 from $5.88 billion in 2017.

More parks Mitra said the government would consider two more industrial parks for the chemicals and petrochemicals sector.

“We have a polypark in Sankrail which is full. We are not being able to accommodate more factories. We have a park in Barjora that is full. In principle, I am announcing that a third park will come up in Barjora and 20 acres of land on the highway is right now available. We will have to take it to the cabinet. We will process this matter and I am convinced you will have a third park. I am (also) telling you I will give you a fourth park in North Bengal. We have land of WBIDC and WBIIDC,” he told industry members at the event..

Source: Telegraph India

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