Indian prime minister Narendra Modi recently dedicated the ONGC Petro additions Ltd (OPaL) plant to the nation at a function in Bharuch, Gujarat, India.
OPaL is a joint venture company promoted by ONGC, GAIL and GSPC, implementing a grassroots integrated petrochemical complex located in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under the Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) at Dahej, Gujarat. The company was incorporated on 15 November 2006.
This is the single largest petrochemical plant in India and, at full capacity, will annually produce 1.4 million metric tonnes of polymers viz. linear low density / high density polyethylene, polypropylene and 0.5 million metric tonnes of chemicals like benzene, butadiene, pyrolysis gasoline etc. The product warehouse is one of the largest in India with an area of 128,250 square metres.
OPaL would use ONGC’s captive feed of C2+ streams (i.e., ethane, propane and butane) from the C2-C3 extraction plant, and naphtha from Hazira and Uran to produce polyethylene and polypropylene.
Set up with an investment of US$4.52 billion, the plant is strategically located in the petrochemicals and chemicals hub of the country with excellent connectivity, creating an integrated ecosystem. It will generate direct employment for 3,500 personnel and indirect employment for around 10,500 people.
The project will further result in the growth of new downstream plastic processing industries in the country, generating further investment of US$6.01 billion and over 20,000 indirect employment opportunities, giving major thrust to the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme. The increased use of polymers will also reduce burden on traditional materials like wood, paper and metal, and will help in conserving natural resources like water and energy and promote food safety and food conservation.
OPaL’s projected market share in the polymer sector will be 13 percent by 2018. The company would also contribute in encouraging polymer consumption in the country and its products will be used for important sectors like infrastructure, housing, packaging, irrigation, automotive, healthcare etc. OPaL’s production of polymers will help the country towards self-sufficiency.
The average per capita consumption of polymers in India is 10kg, compared to a world average of 32 kg. There is tremendous potential for growth of the sector, catalysed by growth drivers such as increasing middle class, higher disposable income and urbanisation.
The petrochemical sector in the country has witnessed a robust growth of 10-12 percent per annum in the last decade, and is expected to grow at a rate of 12-15 percent in the next decade.