Pradhan: Govt plans to set up petrochemical clusters
The Centre is planning to set up petrochemical clusters, in Eastern, Western and Southern India to spur the growth of the sector with a view to meeting the increasing demand for polymers/plastics and speciality chemicals across diverse industrial segments, said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Minister, while inaugurating the 6th edition of the Petrochemicals Conclave here on Saturday.
Mansukh L Mandaviya, MoS for Chemicals & Fertilisers, Govt. of India; and Gujarat Deputy CM Nitin Patel were also present on the occasion.
Over 70 global companies and about 800 delegates from India and abroad are participating in the Conclave.
Pradhan, who is Minister of State (Independent Charges) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, said that the petrochemicals sector is contributing in a big way to all major sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare, textiles, consumer durables and packaging, leading to robust growth of the industry. With increase in the per capita income and discretionary spending, there has been a steady change in spending patterns, from products made of metals to those made of fibres and plastics, which are both economical and long-lasting," he said.
While India's per capita consumption of plastics (polymers) is significantly low at about 10 kg per person, as against the global average of about 32 kg, the country's aggregated demand for petrochemicals stands at 38 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA), Pradhan said. India has grown at nearly 14% in polymers between 2000 and 2016, and is now a 10 MMTPA market in polymers alone. Similarly, PVC has shown tremendous growth potential with above 10% growth per annum, while India's demand for both PET and speciality chemicals is also expected to grow at 14% and above.
With the Indian refining sector in a surplus situation, large quantities of naphtha have been freed up for value addition as petrochemical products, Pradhan said. With the synergy of feedstock availability, the Indian oil & gas PSUs have invested in a big way in world-scale petrochemical complexes, and continue to do so, he said.
"There is a need for setting up petrochemical clusters downstream, adjacent to the refineries, that will have all the infrastructure for doing business at one place. This will create an eco-system of entrepreneurship and employment while at the same time meeting the rising demand for petrochemical intermediates and polymer/plastic products. The petrochemicals industry has the potential to make greater impact through collaboration and innovation among industry members through forums such as the Petrochemicals Conclave," he added.
Nitin Patel said that petrochemicals have a big share in making Gujarat a model state with a high growth rate. Gujarat, known as the growth engine of India, is thriving because of the petrochemical industry in the State, backed by the vision of the Prime Minister. The annual turnover of the petrochemicals industry in Gujarat is Rs. 5 lakh crore, supporting about 500 big industries, 1,600 medium and many small industries, Patel added.
MoS for Chemicals & Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya, who also spoke on the occasion, said that import substitution of certain petrochemicals is the key requirement for sustainable development of the industry in the next five to 10 years. He urged the petrochemicals industry members to focus on effective recycling and management of plastic waste for building a positive perception on the use of plastics.
Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Govt. of India, highlighted that the petrochemicals industry is contributing in a big way to three major initiatives of the Government of India, that is, Make In India, Skill India and Swachh Bharat.