Im­port of chem­i­cals & petrochem ad­versely im­pact­ing value ad­di­tion and wealth cre­ation

FICCI Business Digest - - In Focus -

In­dia has emerged as one of the big­gest im­porters of petro­chem­i­cals, re­sult­ing in size­able cap­i­tal out­flow apart from im­pact­ing the econ­omy be­cause of its in­abil­ity to pro­duce fin­ished prod­ucts and its con­se­quent im­port re­sult­ing in sub-op­ti­mal wealth cre­ation, said Sur­jit K Chaud­hary, Sec­re­tary, Depart­ment of Chem­i­cals & Petro­chem­i­cals.

While ad­dress­ing a sym­po­sium on 'Po­ten­tial of Coal Gasi­fi­ca­tion in In­dia' or­gan­ised by FICCI jointly with the Depart­ment of Chem­i­cals and Petro­chem­i­cals, in New Delhi on July 7, 2015, Chaud­hary said that In­dia lacks re­serves of petroleum and gas but has rich re­serves of coal. Still, the coun­try has not been able to pro­vide ad­e­quate coal feed­stock to its plants. He sug­gested that it was time to en­cour­age use of bet­ter tech­nol­ogy and mod­ern meth­ods of ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion to en­hance coal gasi­fi­ca­tion.

While the sym­po­sium de­bated the po­ten­tial of coal as a source for mak­ing chem­i­cals and petro­chem­i­cals and the global de­vel­op­ments, es­pe­cially, in re­la­tion to China as also emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies in the sec­tor, es­pe­cially, in the con­text of en­vi­ron­men­tal ram­i­fi­ca­tions, Chaud­hary said that though it is one of the sec­tors which was deli­censed and al­lowed 100 per cent FDI early on, the sec­tor never re­alised its true po­ten­tial. He added that In­dia was im­port­ing chem­i­cals and petro­chem­i­cals and was sell­ing it to other coun­tries. Th­ese coun­tries were then ex­port­ing fin­ished prod­ucts to In­dia, mak­ing a dent on In­dia's econ­omy and also de­stroy­ing lo­cal com­mu­nity crafts.

Shyam Bang, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor,

Ju­bi­lant Life­sciences, said that In­dia needs to adopt a strate­gic ap­proach for coal gasi­fi­ca­tion and industry too needs to in­vest in chem­i­cal coal. With new poli­cies in place, In­dia is bound to in­crease its pro­duc­tion and start gen­er­at­ing sur­plus within a span of two years. He added that the gov­ern­ment should pro­mote more coal-based gas plants on the lines of the one which is in Odisha.

Coal has high ash con­tent, said Bang and added that tech­nol­ogy would play a ma­jor role in coal gasi­fi­ca­tion. He also stated that the pric­ing which is be­ing de­cided by Coal In­dia should be­come com­pet­i­tive to match the global stan­dards.

Dur­ing the sym­po­sium, pre­sen­ta­tions were made by Malini Har­i­ha­ran, Global Course Di­rec­tor/Head of South Asia Mar­kets, ICIS, on 'The use of Coal as a Chem­i­cals Feed­stock – The ex­pe­ri­ence in other coun­tries around the world, es­pe­cially China, the op­por­tu­ni­ties for In­dia and key chal­lenges'; Sanjay Sharma, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Mid­dle East & In­dia, IHS Chem­i­cal Con­sult­ing, Dubai on 'Coal to chem­i­cals op­por­tu­ni­ties with spe­cial fo­cus to In­dia'; Prema Viswanathan, As­so­ciate Ed­i­to­rial Di­rec­tor – Petro­chem­i­cals, PLATTS McGraw HILL Financial, Sin­ga­pore, on 'Coal to petro­chem­i­cals de­vel­op­ments in China and lessons for In­dia'; Dr. Ajay Ku­mar Singh, Head, Meth­ane Emis­sion & De­gasi­fi­ca­tion, Cen­tral In­sti­tute of Min­ing and Fuel Re­search, Dhan­bad, on 'Coalbed meth­ane and al­lied ac­tiv­i­ties' and Prof. D K Sharma, Cen­tre for En­ergy Stud­ies, IIT Delhi, on 'Clean coal tech­nolo­gies with ref­er­ence to gasi­fi­ca­tion and CO-gasi­fi­ca­tion of coal'.

Sur­jit K Chaud­hary, Sec­re­tary, Depart­ment of Chem­i­cals & Petro­chem­i­cals, ad­dress­ing the sym­po­sium.

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