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OPaL Marketing Head speaks to POLYMERUPDATE at Plastivision 2013

From L to R: Feroz Khan – Sr. Researcher & Editor (POLYMERUPDATE); Neeraj Rawal – COO & Senior Vice President (POLYMERUPDATE); Shri Makarand Dixit, Head-Marketing (ONGC Petro additions Limited); Lekhraj Ghai – Sr. Researcher & Sr. Editor (POLYMERUPDATE)

During the 9th Edition of Plastivision, the POLYMERUPDATE team met with Shri Makarand Dixit, Head-Marketing, ONGC Petro additions Limited (OPaL). Plastivision is organized by The All India Plastics Manufacturers' Association (AIPMA) once in every three years in India since 1986. Plastivision has emerged as a premier exhibition in the Plastics Industry.

OPaL, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Oil and Natural Gas Limited (ONGC) is setting up a mega petrochemical project at Dahej in Gujarat, India. The project includes a dual feed cracker unit (DFCU) having a capacity of 1.1 million mt/year of ethylene and 400,000 mt/year of propylene, and associated units that include a Pyrolysis Gasoline Hydrogenation Unit, Butadiene Extraction Unit and Benzene Extraction Unit. In addition, OPaL is setting up two 360,000 mt/year high-density polyethylene/linear low-density polyethylene (HDPE/LLDPE) swing units, and HDPE and polypropylene units having a capacity of 340,000 mt/year each, downstream of the cracker.

Shri Dixit said that the overall project is close to 90 percent completion while the main unit cracker is complete and is on track for commissioning in July 2014. He added that the construction part of the project will be completed by the second quarter of 2014 and full operations are expected to commence by end-2014. Shri Dixit said that 58% percent stake in OPAL is still up for grabs after ONGC, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) secured 26 percent, 0.5 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively, in the SPV. When asked whether Saudi Aramco is eyeing a 25 percent stake in the company, Shri Dixit declined to comment, but added that OPaL is in discussion with a number of potential strategic partners.

Shri Dixit pointed out that India is a net importer of polymers and with the demand for polymers in India expected to rise with the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the country will continue to be in deficit of polyethylene in the near future. Thus, it can be expected that OPaL will become a key player in the polymer industry, because it has the combined advantages of adequate indigenous feedstock supplies, talented manpower, ready market and above all, a better and brighter domestic market. Apart from the domestic market, OPaL will be marketing a substantial part of its produce in the international market. Using state-of-art technologies from the finest and most renowned technology providers in the world, OPaL aims to provide world-class products and services across the globe.

On being asked about his opinion on the current dull buying sentiments in the market and the impact of the oncoming elections in the country, Shri Dixit said that the buying sentiments were indeed weak at the end of the year but will lift by the first quarter of 2014. He added that the elections are not expected to have much impact on the petrochemical business in the country unless the new government makes some drastic policy changes, which seem highly unlikely.

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