|Gaint Step Reliance-Sibur Alliance|
Gaint Step Reliance-Sibur Alliance
When Reliance SIBUR Elastomers was set up to produce butyl rubber in India, the priorities were clear: Crate a world class manufacturing facility that will meet the increasing demand of the domestic automobile industry for butyl rubber.
Reliance already enjoys excellent relationship with the Indian tyre industry by virtue of being a reliable supplier of quality polybutadiene rubber, Executive Director Nikhil R Meswani told Polymers & Tyre Asia. âReliance believes in setting up world scale manufacturing facilities to cater to the ever growing demand of Indian industries,â he explained in an interview.
The butyl rubber plant that is coming up at Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat will have world scale capacity of 100,000 tonnes per annum. The project is expected to be fully commissioned by mid-2014.
Relianceâs Jamnagar facility represents the largest industrial project ever implemented in the Indian corporate sector. The fully integrated manufacturing complex has a petroleum refinery, an aromatics/petrochemical facility, a power generation unit, a port and terminal complex, as well as access to a pipeline network.
RIL, under the stewardship of Mukesh D Ambani, is the first private sector company from India to feature in the Fortune Global 500 list of âWorldâs Largest Corporationsâ and ranked 119th among the worldâs Top 200 companies in terms of profits. It is placed at 68th in the Financial âTimes FT Global 500â list of the worldâs largest companies. RIL is also ranked among the â50 Most Innovative Companies - 2010â in the World in a survey conducted by Business Week in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Reliance, which has 74.9% stake in the company with the rest with SIBUR, plans to become a significant player in the global SR market. It also has a technology licence agreement facilitating the use of SIBURâs proprietary butyl rubber production technology.
âWe at Reliance are very excited to see the unfulfilled desire of the Indian industry of having a domestic manufacturing base for butyl rubber is satisfied. Globally, a very limited number of players have commercialised complex butyl rubber manufacturing technology,â he said.
Reliance SIBUR joint venture will benefit from feedstock integration with one of the largest single-site refinery in the world and proven butyl rubber technology of SIBUR.
SIBUR operates across the entire petrochemical process chain from gas processing, production of monomers, plastics and synthetic rubbers to the processing of plastics. It is a vertically integrated company with its gas processing facilities providing feedstock for its petrochemical production.
Reliance operates the worldâs largest refining complex and associated chemical plants at Jamnagar. The partnership with SIBUR, Eastern Europeâs biggest petrochemicals producer, was first announced in May 2010 and the project holds a lot of opportunities for continual growth.
Says Meswani: âOur plan in elastomer business goes beyond investment in butyl rubber plant. In addition to our existing PBR capacities, Reliance on its own is setting up 150,000 tonnes per annum emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) and an additional 40,000 tonnes per annum of polybutadiene rubber (PBR) plant at Hazira.
The Reliance Industries Hazira complex near Surat in Gujarat is spread over 1000 acres near the banks of river Tapi and manufactures a wide range of polymers, polyesters, fibre intermediates and petrochemicals.
With the commissioning of SIBUR/Reliance joint venture, the capacities, Reliance will emerge as a one-stop-shop for elastomer needs of the downstream industry.â
He said the Indian rubber industry is one of the fastest growing in the world. âWith increasing demand for butyl rubber we expect the entire production from the planned capacity would be consumed domestically.â
More importantly, by virtue of being integrated and co-located with large and highly complex refineries at a single site, the joint venture has access to large quantities of iso butylene to meet future requirements for further expansions.
Future is now
Meswani said Reliance is committed to green and safe environment. âOur new polybutadiene rubber facility coming up at Hazira will have capability to make neodymium catalyst based polybutadiene rubber as well,â he said.
With this, Reliance will have a unique advantage of being a producer with the capability to produce polybutadiene rubber from three different catalyst system, namely cobalt, nickel as well as neodymium to cater to the varied needs of the downstream customers.
He said the joint ventureâs butyl rubber plant will be benchmarked with best in the world and will cater to the increasing consumption of butyl rubber in India as well as to quality conscious customers globally.
The global demand for rubber, natural rubber as well synthetic rubber is rising at 5% per annum, Meswani points out. Rising demand could be met efficiently by balanced usage of natural and synthetic rubber in suitable proportion for optimal end product quality.
âNatural and synthetic rubbers complement each other in terms of their application. Iâm sure, with the state-of- the-art plant coupled with feedstock integration, cost competitive manufacturing is assured,â he asserted.
With adequate raw material at cost competitive prices, downstream Indian rubber and tyre industry can aggressively expand their operations, he explained.
|Last Updated on Monday, 20 August 2012 11:19|