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Nocil Thane plant to resume production

Our Bureau

MUMBAI, March 6

AFTER a three-month shut-down, National Organic Chemicals Industries (Nocil) has decided to resume production at its Thane plant.

"The plant will re-start operations in a day or two. But it may take a week or so to get back to normal production,'' a senior company official said.

The petrochemical plant of Nocil, shut down in November for annual maintenance, could not resume production, as its raw material supplier stopped delivery of naphtha due to non-payment of arrears.

According to sources, Nocil owed large sum as dues to Bharat Petroleum Corporation on account of purchase of naphtha, the key raw material for its plant. However, the public sector refinery has agreed to supply the material on cash payment.

A BPCL official confirmed that it had agreed to supply naphtha to the company on cash payment basis. "We have started supply to Nocil two days ago,'' the official said.

The plan to revive and modernise the Mafatlal-controlled petrochemical company suffered a setback with the Shell Group backing out of an MoU on equity investment in Nocil last year. The company's effort to find a new partner is yet to materialise.

A senior company official, however, said negotiations with a new party were still in progress.

At one stage, Nocil tried to get BPCL and IOC to pick up a part of the Mafatlal stake in the company, but both had turned down the proposal.

The low price of naphtha may help the company to pull on for the time being.

But without the proposed modernisation, it would be difficult for the company to survive in the long run, said a petrochemical analyst.

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