The government on Friday said there is a shortage of feedstock cracker in the petrochemicals sector and more private investments are required in the sector to reduce imports.
Addressing an Assocham-organised conclave on speciality chemicals, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Secretary Arun Baroka said with electric vehicles coming up and demand for petrol/diesel set to reduce, automatically there will be more push for petrochemicals in future.
"We know that there is a shortage of feedstock and it is estimated that we need one (feedstock)cracker every year till 2040 but that kind of investment is not coming now. There will be a shortfall in terms of the numbers of crackers which are required by the country. When there is a shortage, obviously we will be dependent on imports," he said.
An investment of Rs 18 lakh crore is required for increasing feedstock cracker as estimated in a report by Indian Oil Ltd and Engineers India Ltd. However, the government alone cannot make this kind of investment, he said, and called for more private investments.
In order to attract investments, the government is providing an enabling environment. The concerned ministries are working together in a collaborative manner, he added.
In case of the agro-chemical sector, the secretary said the government is working on the issues raised by the industry. For instance, the concerns related to 'Deep Sea Discharge Norms' has been taken up with the environment ministry.
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The growth in speciality chemicals is higher than the average growth of chemicals sector. India is a net exporter of speciality chemicals and there is a huge potential to tap in this area, he said.
The secretary also stressed on collaboration between industry, government and academia to tap the potential in the speciality chemicals sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Joint Secretary in Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals Susanta Kumar Purohit said most of the government's schemes are focused on addressing the challenges faced by the industry.
He also said the government is mulling over setting up of chemical parks in collaboration with private sector. "We are in talks with state governments. These are in initial stage," he added.
UPL President Global Corporate and Industry Affairs Sagar Kaushik said the world speciality chemicals market is estimated to be USD 1 trillion by 2025 and India has a huge potential to tap in this market.
Right now, China has a dominant space in this area. However, global customers are looking at India to play a major supplier in future. To achieve this, stakeholders' collaboration and higher investment in R&D is required, he added.
Gharda Chemicals Director Nilesh A Kulkarni said there is more demand for speciality chemicals, and with the production linked scheme, the sector is likely to shine.
Institute of Chemical Technology Vice Chancellor Anirudha B Pandit said the growth in speciality chemicals cannot be achieved without partnerships and collaboration. "For long term growth, we need to think in terms of circular economy and working together," he added.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)