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                     HIGHLIGHTS OF ARTICLES FROM  SEPTEMBER 2016 ISSUE OF 

                                            NANDINI CHEMICAL JOURNAL

HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME OF THE ARTICLES
  • Why Government InvestmentIn Public Sector Chemical Projects Now Necessary ?

  • India Should Give Big Push For Off Shore Wind Power Projects

  • Vitamin E – Product Profile

  • Citric Acid – Investment Opportunity

  • Xanthan Gum – Product Profile

  • Coal Bed Methane Projects – Status Report

  • Green Bio Lubricants – Recent Developments

  • Anti Dumping Page

  • Safety And Accident Page

  • News Round Up – International

  • Technology Development

  • China News

  • News Round Up – India

  • Agro Chemical Page

  • Pharma Page

  • Energy Page

  • Other Articles

 

TALK OF THE MONTH

WHY GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC SECTOR CHEMICAL PROJECTS NOW NECESSARY ?

Ever since India’s independence more than 60 years back, there have been almost unending debate as to whether public sector enterprises or private sector enterprises would be appropriate for India. A few decades back, while recognizing merits of both private and public sector concept, the government evolved joint sector concept , where both government and private sector would invest, with management largely under the control of private sector owners.

The experience in operating public sector, private sector and joint sector projects during the last several decades amply prove that all the three concepts are sound and appropriate, if only projects were to be managed well and planned suitably at unit level, duly considering the ground realities. Many public sector projects have done well and a number of private and joint sector projects have fared poorly and collapsed in the past. In the same way , a number of private and joint sector projects have prospered, while a few of public sector units have incurred loss.

In 2014-15, 157 of the 235 central PSUs made profits, outnumbering loss making units. Their aggregate profit of Rs.1.30 lakh crore easily exceeded the Rs.27,000 crore losses notched up by the loss making central PSUs.

Different approach so far

In the case of private and joint sector projects , when loss are beyond acceptable level, the companies inevitably would close.

On the other hand, in the case of public sector projects, even totally sick units are allowed to linger on, with the idle employees being paid by the government using tax payer’s money. Such public sector companies stay on till all the employees quit or retire and then become letter pad companies, left only with land assets and rapidly decaying uncared buildings and machineries. This is an unacceptable situation.

Why investment in public sector by government necessary now ?

Investment in public sector projects by the government became necessary immediately after independence, since private sector , by and large, did not have the resources nor expertise to invest in a big way. That was why Jawaharlal Nehru‘s government set up number of public sector projects like steel plants, petrochemical plants, mining projects etc. The move was not at the expense of private sector. Such public sector projects founded by Nehru government and later on, by and large, proved themselves well and stood by the test of time, though there are exceptions.

However, since 1990, a view gained ground in the country in favour of private sector, supported by the argument that government is to govern and not to do business.

Of late, with the Indian economy being increasingly linked to the trends in global activities and restriction on import becoming much less due to WTO regulations, Indian market has become competitive, considerably crowded with the products made abroad. While the government has been imposing anti dumping duty and safeguard duty to protect the interest of the Indian projects, there is a limit beyond which it can not be done. In such circumstance, Indian private sector appears to have developed a sense of panic due to lack of confidence about their competitive capability. Therefore, investment by private sector in manufacturing activity have gone down significantly in recent years, particularly in the core sector.

To achieve the Modi government’s target for promoting employment prospects and GDP growth , it is necessary to sustain national investments at needed level in projects. In the absence of adequate private investments in a massive way, government’s investment in public sector projects have now become necessary. Considering such scenario, Modi government have initiated appropriate strategies to build capacity in public sector.

Even so, Modi government is pragmatic in not persisting with the sick public sector projects at any cost.

Closure of loss making public sector units

Tasked by Prime Minister's Office to look into viability of sick state run companies, government think tank Niti Aayog has identified number of public sector undertakings for closure or sell off, which are out of 74 loss making PSUs. These units have been identified as those, which cannot be revived advantageously.

Such units for closure or sale are likely to be picked from among the state owned companies in the cement, salt, textiles, paper and antibiotics sectors including Hindustan Antibiotics, Orrisa Drugs and Chemicals, Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Sambhar Salts, Hindustan Salts Ltd, Hindustan Newsprint Ltd, Hindustan Paper Corporation, Cement Corporation of India, National Textile Mills. ITI Ltd, IDPL and Hindustan Organic Chemicals.

Coal India has identified 476 mines for closure and mine closure plan has been prepared and approved for 445 mines till July 31. Further, as per guidelines, Rs.4,387 crore has been deposited in an escrow account by Coal India for the mine closures. The money deposited is mainly for restoration work.

Government of India plans to shut aging coal fired power plants with combined capacity of 37 gigawatts to cut emissions and reduce the use of fuel and water.The plants are more than 25 years old and have turned uneconomical. A few of them are proposed to be replaced by super critical units, which are more efficient, at the same site.

These moves to give up sick public sector units are not only economically pragmatic but are also bold decisions, as such move will have political repercussions in a noisy democracy that India has.

Investment by government in fertilizer projects in public sector

Modi government made efforts to revive a number of sick public sector urea fertilizer units by inviting the private sector to take up such projects for investment and management., Unfortunately, the response of the private sector was lukewarm and almost negative.

Then, Modi government has no alternative other than taking steps to revive these much needed fertilizer projects by investing on it’s own.

Top state run energy companies have been asked to make investment in a special purpose vehicle to revive fertiliser plants in Uttar Pradesh as well as Bihar and Jharkhand. Equity infusion in the proposed special purpose vehicle would be around Rs. 1,600 crore each by IOC, CIL and NTPC , while FCI may invest Rs 500 crore in the projects , which is expected to be ready in 3 to 4 years. Each unit is expected to cost Rs 6,000 crore.

The government’s decision for revival of the units at Gorakpur, Bihar's Barauni and Jharkhand's Sindhri is expected to increase the supply of urea fertiliser ,which are in short supply as well as create additional employment.

Private sector are found wanting - Need to become dynamic

What causes concern is that investments by private sector in manufacturing projects have considerably gone down in recent years. Some well established units have stopped manufacturing plants and instead have started importing the product for trading in India.

In view of such approach of private sector, India has become a dumping ground for several products from abroad.

Most of the investments in private sector in recent times have been in services sector and not in research or manufacturing activities.

The recent move of Tata Chemicals to hive off it’s well managed fertilizer unit in Uttar Pradesh is particularly a matter of concern and may be negative approach by the private sector unit. Much respected Tata group which is widely viewed as a jewel among the Indian private sector have opted for the easy way of giving up a well managed and strategic manufacturing project, instead of developing the project.

Selling well run projects to make quick money and strengthen the balance sheet only reflects on the lack of long term vision and sense of pride in developing and operating manufacturing projects.

The time has come for Modi government to ask the private sector to focus on manufacturing projects , which call for long term vision and hard work with the sense of pride and faith in their capabilities and in nation’s future.

Obviously, Modi government is well aware of such need and it is well reflected by it’s ambitious schemes to promote start up India projects. But then the private sector has to respond.

 

INDIA SHOULD GIVE BIG PUSH FOR OFF SHORE WIND POWER PROJECTS

                                             Sangita Gayatri K, Project Executive, Nandini Consultancy Centre

                                             Email: sangitagayatri@gmail.com

Offshore wind energy is a relatively recent technology, where wind turbines are erected off the coast on ocean water to harness the energy of ocean wind to produce power.

With 7500 km long coast line, India has exclusive economic zone of around 2.3 million sq km. All of it belongs to the Government of India and there is no ‘land acquisition’ hassle in setting up off shore wind power project.

Advancements in the offshore wind energy front would significantly help India move closer to achieve the 60 GW target set for wind power by 2022 and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

For this to happen, the Government of India needs to shift into mission mode to set up off shore wind power projects.

India is yet to tap offshore wind power.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Advantages of off shore wind power projects
  • Cost factor for offshore wind power projects
  • Cheapest offshore wind energy farm – Project of Dong Energy
  • Global scenario
  • Global region wise share of offshore wind power capacity - 2015
  • Scenario in Europe
  • New projects under planning / implementation in different regions
  • Japan
  • USA
  • China
  • India’s initiatives
  • Facilitating Offshore Wind in India (FOWIND)
  • Pilot project
VITAMIN E – PRODUCT PROFILE

Vitamin E is a collective term for a family of eight homologues (stereoisomers) molecules. It is a series of organic compounds consisting of various methylated phenols.

Commercial available sources of vitamin E can be classified into natural and synthetic.

The natural form of vitamin E is called "D-Alpha Tocopherol," and is obtained by extraction from vegetable oil.

The synthetic form is DL-alpha tocopherol, obtained by chemical synthesis.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Natural Vitamin E
  • Synthetic Vitamin E
  • Application
  • Global producers
  • Major producers in China include
  • Global demand
  • Indian scenario
  • Indian producers of Vitamin E
  • Indian production of vitamin E
  • Indian import of Vitamin E and Vitamin E Acetate
  • Indian export of Vitamin E and Vitamin E Acetate
  • Anti dumping duty on import of Vitamin E from China
CITRIC ACID – INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Citric acid is white crystalline powder

Citric acid is manufactured either anhydrous or monohydrate.

 

Product

Molecular formula

CAS No

Citric acid monohydrate

HOC(COOH)(CH2COOH)2·H2O

5949-29-1

Citric acid anhydrous

HOC(COOH)(CH2COOH)2

77-92-9

The product is marketed in any of three forms namely granular, fine granular and powder.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Product specification
  • Application sector:
  • Indian import
  • Pattern of country wise imports
  • Indian Supply Scenario
  • Demand drivers
  • Indian demand
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Global Scenario
  • Installed capacity
  • Global demand
  • Global sector wise consumption pattern
  • Global growth rate in demand through 2019
  • Scenario in China
  • Major citric acid producers in China
  • China’s export
  • Other important producers in the world
  • Plant closures
  • Prognosis
XANTHAN GUM- PRODUCT PROFILE

Xanthan gum is a high molecular weight polysaccharide and is a natural biopolymer produced by a biotechnological fermentation process in aerobic conditions, based on the culture of a microorganism: Xanthomonas campestris.

  • APPEARANCE                             : White to cream coloured free flowing powder
  • CASNo.                                        :11138-66-2
  • Chemical Formula                          :(C35H49O29)n
  • Odour                                            :Odourless
  • Solubility                                        :Soluble in hot and cold water

Insoluble in most organic solvents with the exception of a few water miscible alcohols.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Grades
  • Product specification
  • Product applications
  • Indian import
  • Pattern of countrywise import
  • Indian production
  • Demand driver
  • Demand growth through 2021
  • Indian demand in 2016
  • Outline of process and raw material used
  • Global production/demand
  • Global producers
  • Producers in China
  • New Project
  • Prognosis
COAL BED METHANE PROJECTS – STATUS REPORT

Over a decade after India began allocating coal bed methane (CBM) blocks to investors, the country is nowhere near what the US, Canada and Australia have achieved in developing this energy resource .

While, 17 of the 33 CBM blocks allocated since 2001 have already been relinquished by the firms concerned, the total gas production from the remaining blocks is languishing at an abysmal 1.38 million metric standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd).

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Views of the Parliament Committee
GREEN BIO LUBRICANTS – RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Industries are subjectd to increasing regulation on biodegradability of products used in their operation. Therefore, the companies are increasing the proportion of bio lubricants used in their products.

Bio lubricants is recommended over oil based products in areas where environmental protection is a “constant concern”, such as the sea, mountains, farmland or forests.

It has been generally accepted by researchers that by 2030, 15% of all lubricants used globally will be bio lubricants.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Demand driver
  • Feedstock for bio lubricants
  • Efforts of Biosynthetic Technologies, USA
  • Efforts of Kluber Lubrication,Germany
  • Efforts by VOSOLUB
  • Efforts of Matrica SpA, Italy
ANTI DUMPING PAGE

The antidumping measures introduced in the last few weeks on the following products are discussed

  • Viscose staple fibre
  • Ammonium nitrate
  • Caustic soda
SAFETY AND ACCIDENT PAGE

The articles discuss about the accidents that occurred in the following plants

Explosion in China's power plant

1,499 fatal, non fatal accidents in chemical units in India

NEWS ROUND UP – INTERNATIONAL

The recent developments on the following products/events are discussed

  • Rapeseed based resin project
  • Renewable bio isobutene plant
  • Isobutanol for marine and off road use
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENTS

RESEARCH INTO GRAPHENE IN INDIA

India's largest private sector steel company Tata Steel is looking at sponsoring research by IIT Madras on graphene, a new-generation carbon material, pursued by several companies in the world, in search of the next building block for electronic gadgets and transform processes in the manufacturing sector

Just one atom thick, many times stronger and lighter than steel, graphene is being tested in applications from replacing silicon in smartphones to the components of aircraft bodies in making flying more fuel-efficient

Its use has already been experimented in making automotive lubricants and how memory devices like hard drives in computers can be made more powerful by exploiting their unique electrical properties.

European universities like The University of Manchester, considered to be the birth place of graphene and corporations like Samsung are redoubling efforts in finding commercial applications for the "wonder material”.

Following details are discussed in this article

  • Efforts in India
  • Research sponsored by Tata Steel
  • Recent developments on the following products are discussed
  • Low cost liquid nitrogen
  • ´╗┐New nano material promises 2GB data speed per second
  • Transparent wood windows
  • Non flammable lithium ion battery
  • Sunshine, seaweed help to break down dye waste from textile factories
  • BARC develops portable kit to detect chromium in water
  • Strains of fungi to help recycle rechargeable batteries
  • Copper-titanium alloy
  • Device for testing if water is safe to drink
  • Solid into behaving like liquid
CHINA NEWS

The recent developments in China are discussed in the following articles

  • Polytetrahydrofuran (Poly THF) plant
  • 1,4-butanediol
  • Coal to olefin gasification unit
  • Syngas to ethylene glycol unit
  • PPS Resin Project
  • Coal to chemicals project in Daqing
  • Lithium hydroxide monohydrate project
NEWS ROUND UP – INDIA

The recent developments on the following products are discussed

  • Chennai lab to make anti venom serum
AGRO CHEMICAL PAGE

Recent developments in the agro fields are discussed in the following article

Use of pesticide – Findings of the study

Misuse of neem coated urea

PHARMA PAGE

Recent developments in the pharma fields are discussed in the following articles

  • Data integrity for drug quality, safety
  • New leprosy vaccine
  • Deep brain stimulator
  • Harmless battery to power medical devices using melanin pigment
  • A low cost paper card to spot substandard drugs
ENERGY PAGE

Recent developments in the energy fields are discussed in the following articles

  • GAIL (India) - Bloom Energy technology tie up for fuel cell
  • Kolkata-Jagdishpur gas pipeline
  • New energy efficiency rating methodology for ACs
  • e-car battery
  • Food waste to biogas project
OTHER ARTICLES
  • SPOT PRICE OF POLYMERS IN CHINA – PERIOD AUGUST, 2016
  • TENDERS
  • CHEMICALS IMPORTED AT THE CHENNAI PORT
  • DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE 2016