India: Chemical Industry The New Scenario in India's Chemical Industry
Keeping in view the recent unique and peculiar situation arising out of environmental considerations in the Punjab area in particular, a slew of bioethanol refineries; as many as twelve have been planned and the general contract has been awarded to Praj who has expertise in this field of bioethanol refineries with a global footprint.
Delhi/India — Meanwhile, the food v/s fuel topic continues to be debated as to the suitability of grains for bioethanol production at a time when there is hunger in parts of the developing world and acute need for food supplies.
There is also some mothballing of bioethanol refineries like in the case of Lithuanian Silute bioethanol plant. As per latest reports, the refinery has been put up for sale.
Meanwhile on the renewable energy front, the cost of generation of solar energy from solar generators is matching conventional energy sources in India and this is a unique situation.
However, the hardware business of solar modules by far is dominated by China manufacturers leading to insolvency proceedings by the large Germany based combine Solar World leading to fear and layoffs and this situation is also feared in India where unmatched Chinese pricing is leading to serious competition for Indian module producers.
The recent agreement by the Saudi-Russia initiative to control the extraction of crude oil may lead to strengthening of oil prices in particular and commodities in general in the medium term with downward pressure on hard currencies.
Also the recent FTA on the anvil between India and the consortium of five CIS countries is unnerving Indian producers of petrochemicals who fear the onslaught of cheaper petroproducts and polymers streaming in into the near future and upsetting their monopolies and established markets.
Efforts to Build Domestic Industry
The sizable number of nuclear energy installations and nuclear reactors on order may have its effects on energy supplies to industry and consumers and may lead to efforts to expand the reach and transmission grid to the interior of India.
India is also stepping up efforts to increase indigenous urea capacities sizably and even become an exporter with talks going on between the fertilizer companies and process licensors.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is facing some protectionist barriers from the North American continent with number of FDA scrutinies and audits being negative for some leading players here.
The dyes and chemicals exports continue to be directed to the Far East and Latin America target markets as they are facing some regulatory measures from EU as far as the "Reach" compliance and MSDS requirements. Also the customs authorities and port authorities keep a strict eye out for misdeclarations in product classifications and product packaging to prevent potential environmental issues.
The new opportunities as a result of the fracking route to oil in US has led to growth in exports of some naturally extracted products like guar gum coming mainly from Rajasthan. The castor oil based derivatives producers are also on a promotion drive with new areas being explored in coatings, cosmetics and pharma industries among others. However the Indian factories are no match for China who imports major portion of castor oil from India and converts it into derivative products up the chain to be picked up by the MNC giants like Arkema and BASF.
The 'Silk Route' has been pioneered and we may see even more cooperation and logistic movements between Europe and Asian trading blocs. The first train made its inaugural recently amidst much publicity.