GUWAHATI: The 500 tonnes per day (TPD) Methanol expansion project under the Assam Petro-Chemicals Limited (APL) in Namrup would be commissioned by December 2020, said APL chairman Bikul Chandra Deka during a press meet.
The APL was incorporated in the year 1971 and commenced commercial operations in 1976 with facilities for production of 21 TPD Methanol and 37 TPD Formaldehyde.
Currently, the APL produces around 100 TPD Methanol and 125 TPD Formaldehyde. Due to the increasing demand of Methanol as an alternative fuel, in 2014, the then government introduced 500 TPD Methanol and 200 TPD Formaldehyde projects in Namrup and Boitamari, Bongaigaon respectively. However, the government couldn't implement the expansion project at that time. Later, the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal led government reopened the project with certain modifications after it came to power in 2016. On October 3, 2017 CM Sonowal laid foundation stone for the 500 TPD Methanol plant in Namrup.
"The project was targeted to be completed in September, 2019. But, it has not yet been completed and the government has taken a new commission date for December 2020 for the Namrup plant. In Boitamari, the 200 TPD Formaldehyde plant will be commissioned by December, 2021," said the APL chairman.
The total cost of the expansion project is Rs 1,709 crore. While, the cost of the 500 TPD Methanol project is Rs 1,603 crore, the 200 TPD Formaldehyde is Rs 106 crore. According to Deka, after the completion of the project, the total Methanol production will be 600 TPD and Formaldehyde will be 325 TPD.
In India, out of the total Methanol usage - 75 to 85 per cent is imported from countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE etc. Only 20 to 25 per cent is produced in India out of which 60 per cent is produced by APL, Namrup. In 2018-19, the turnover of APL was 118.62 crore and net profit was Rs 7.03 crore. The COVID pandemic has majorly affected the company in the current financial year. Deka said that due to the company has incurred Rs 43 crore losses.
"After the commission of Namrup plant, 250 engineers and around 5,000 youths will be appointed. The yearly profit for the State will be around Rs 110 crore," Deka added.
Currently, the APL is in talks with various foreign companies who want to promote the production in international markets. In the press meet, APL Managing Director Atul Chandra Deka, and Company Secretary Uttan Bailung were present among others.
Also watch: Morning Bulletin | 12th June, 2020