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 India OPal eyes 600,000 t/yr polyolefins exports from new complex  
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MUMBAI (ICIS)--India's ONGC Petro-Additions Ltd (OPal) expects to export nearly 600,000 tonnes/year of polyolefins and around 150,000 tonnes/year of benzene once its cracker and derivatives complex comes onstream in the third quarter of 2014, a senior company executive said on Thursday.

"We have had positive response from large international polymer traders; we have received commitments that six to seven times the quantity," said Makrand Dixit, head of marketing at OPal.

OPal's $4.2bn (€3.2bn) project includes a 1.1m tonne/year mixed-feed cracker, a 340,000 tonne/year high density PE (HDPE) unit, two swing HDPE/linear low density PE (LLDPE) lines with a capacity of 360,000 tonnes/year each, and a 340,000 tonne/year polypropylene plant.

It will also be producing 115,000 tonnes/year of butadiene, 150,000 tonnes/year of benzene.

The complex is expected to be brought on stream in July 2014

. The project, which is being built at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dahej, Gujarat, has to be net foreign exchange earner and this is likely to result in exports of 30-40% of its output, explained Dixit.

The Indian sub-continent, China, Turkey and Africa would be the focus areas for polyolefin exports.

Dixit was optimistic that 30,000-40,000 tonnes/year would be initially consumed within the SEZ, which would be deemed as exports. A plastics processing zone is being set up in the SEZ and seven plastic processors have already acquired land.

Sales in the SEZ could eventually go up to 160,000 tonnes/year once the zone is fully occupied, he said.

Dixit pointed out that Dahej was emerging as a major plastic processing centre with The All India Plastics Manufacturers Association (AIPMA) spearheading the development of a plastics park in the domestic tarriff area (DTA).

OPal is also in talks with potential buyers of benzene within the Dahej SEZ.

"We have received requests but there are yet no commitments," Dixit explained.

Besides benzene, OPal would also have a toluene rich pygas stream available for sale. This should yield around 90,000 tonnes/year of toluene and around 25,000 tonnes/year of solvent-grade mixed xylenes.