India is a growing market with a huge potential for specialty chemicals such as polymers with a wide range of applications. And SNF (India) Private Limited is all set to capture a major chunk of it, according to Mr Pascal Remy, the CEO of SPCM SA, France, the parent company of SNF.

He was speaking at the chemical plant set up by SNF in the Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City in Visakhapatnam district on Wednesday after its formal inauguration.

The plant, with a capacity of 35,000 tonnes per annum, has been set up at a cost of Rs 200 crore and has been in operation for over a year.

Mr Pascal Remy said SNF was the world's largest producer of water-soluble polymers, used in water treatment, mineral extraction, paper manufacture and for enhanced oil recovery in the oil sector. He said the company had a market share of 40 per cent globally.

To expand, upgrade

“We have 20 major production facilities in the world, with 3,350 employees and 45 subsidiaries and a network of more than 1,000 distributors.

Our annual revenue in 2011 was $2.2 billion,” he said, adding that the company intended to expand and upgrade the facilities here in tune with market requirements. SNF would take up the construction of monomer and powder lines at the Visakhapatnam plant in a phased manner and a new plant, with a capacity of 35,000 tonnes more, would be set up at the site by the second half of 2013, he said.

“We have a smaller plant with a capacity of 6,000 tonnes per annum near Hyderabad, but we are cutting down production there and ultimately it will be closed,” he said.

He said the two main applications are “in water treatment and for enhanced oil recovery in the oil sector.

It is a cheap technology and you can get a barrel for $15 in the oil sector.”

Dr Prasad S. Mulukutla, the Chairman and Managing Director of SNF India, said the company had market share of 60 per cent in India.

“Last year, our sales turnover was Rs 215 crore and we expect it to touch Rs 250 crore this year. We have 111 regular employees in the plant and roughly 50 or so temporary and contract workers.”

Green chemistry

He said there were no pollution problems and the effluents were being sent to the common treatment plant in the pharma city.

Even in Hyderabad, he said, there were no problems on that count. “Our production facilities are eco-friendly and we employ green chemistry here,” he said. He said negotiations were going on with Cairn India and it may result in a big order of 70,000 tonnes or so per annum.

Mr Richard Saint Sauveur, of SNF, said that, in future, sewage treatment will be a major application, with increasing urbanisation all over the world. Mr G. Prabhakara Sastry, one of the directors of SNF India, said the establishment of a world-class specialty chemical plant by the SNF here would spur industrial growth in the area.

(This article was published on February 22, 2012)
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