08 January 2001
Dramatic growth on the subcontinent
While there is not a lot of activity in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the controls and instrumentation markets in India and Pakistan look decidedly buoyant.
Indians widely use liquid propane gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) throughout the Indian subcontinent, and there is always activity in this important market sector. The Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) is currently implementing a 1,230-kilometer LPG pipeline-said to be the longest in India, if not the world-from Jamnagar (Gujarat state) to Loni in North India.
In the private sector, Enron is setting up a 5 million ton/year LNG import terminal at Dabhol to feed its 2.144-megawatt power plant, and the Reliance Group has announced plans to set up an LNG terminal and storage facilities with 7.5 million ton/year capacity, also at Jamnagar. Petronet LNG has announced plans for a 5 million ton/year LNG storage facility at Dahej in Gujarat.
Refinery capacity and petrochemicals will also grow dramatically in the near future. In Pakistan, PARCO, a joint venture between Japan's Ashai and local business interests, has just opened a $600 million refinery. There is also talk of Exxon planning a major refinery expansion.
In India, Chennai Petroleum Corp. will expand the capacity of its Manali refinery from 6.5 to 9.5 million ton/year and add the following new plants: a crude atmospheric and vacuum distillation unit; a naphtha splitter; a visbreaker; a naphtha hydrotreater; a catalytic reformer; a hydrogenator; a once-through hydrocracker; a sulphur unit; a merox unit; an amine recovery unit; and a sour water system.
Also in India, Nagarjuna Oil Corp. Ltd. will set up a refinery in Chennai. Essar Oil Ltd. is building a 10.5 million ton/year refinery at Jamnagar, Gujarat, in collaboration with ABB Lummus Crest, with commissioning scheduled for mid-2002.
Pipelines are of great importance in India, and officials are eyeing infrastructure expansion. State-owned GAIL wants to expand the HBJ natural gas pipeline to 60 million cubic meters and is considering about 1,000 kilometers of pipeline and other facilities to cover anticipated demand from industrial centres in Mangalore (South India).
In the private sector, Indian Oil Corp. will construct a product pipeline in phases from its proposed 9 million ton/year Paradip refinery, scheduled for commissioning in 2003. The first phase of pipeline will link Paradip to Rourkela.
In Pakistan, although there is not a lot of green-field construction planned for the next two years, there is a lot of activity. The Pakistan chemical industry is growing rapidly, and one of the biggest problems for bulk chemical suppliers is to react rapidly enough to changes in demand.
With increasing competition from China and Korea, efforts to improve efficiency will continue, and future plants will incorporate greater flexibility.