India is formulating a policy for petrochemicals giving importance to sustainability and green practices to address significant gaps in basic feedstock, according to P Raghavendra Rao, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals in the Chemicals and Fertilisers Ministry. The aim is to make the policy more action-driven and not prescriptive, he said. Considering the feedstock requirement gaps, the country will urgently need at least five new integrated cracker plants, each with 1.5-mn-tonne capacity before 2025, he said.
That will work for at least 20-30 per cent of value addition for the feedstock requirement and serve the increasing domestic demand of petrochemical products, he told the ‘Indian Chemical & Petrochemical Conference (ICPC) 2018: Vision 2040’ conference recently in New Delhi. The ICPC policy forum was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Ministry, according to a CII report. The demand for petrochemicals will jump up to 30-40 mn tonne in next three years, it said. The government has set-up two-level perspective plans for the years 2025 and 2040. The ethylene gap is projected to reach 7-7.5 mn tonne by 2025, the Secretary added. A CII report titled ‘Chemicals & Petrochemicals: Current scenario and the road ahead’ was also launched during the conference.
The report highlights gaps like disproportionate rise in imports due to limited availability of feedstock, unfavourable comparative advantage in duty structure, and difficult access to infrastructure and technology.