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Kanoria Chem plans expansion

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To invest Rs 150 cr in caustic soda factory

Improving standards
The co has raised Rs 90 crore for expansion through FCCBs
The expanded capacity would be ready by November 2007
KCIL will shift the total production to new membrane cell technology

Kolkata , July 28

Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd (KCIL) would be investing Rs 150 crore in the current financial year for expanding the capacity of caustic soda and four chlorine-based plants. According to Mr R.V. Kanoria, Chairman and Managing Director, the company has already raised approximately Rs 90 crore through FCCBs (foreign currency convertible bonds).

He was talking to reporters after addressing the shareholders at the company's 46th annual general meeting. Mr Kanoria said that the rest of the money would be raised through debt and internal accruals.

For better output

In the last financial year, KCIL increased the caustic soda capacity from 50,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to 90,000 tpa. In the current fiscal it would be further increased to 1.30 lakh tpa. The cost of it would be Rs 115 crore.

The rest, Rs 35 crore, would be invested in the chlorine-based plants. It would include increasing capacity of the aluminium chloride from 14,000 tpa to 20,000 tpa. The expanded capacity would be ready by November 2007. The product, Mr Kanoria said, has received good response in the European Union market.

KCIL has already increased the capacity of its captive power plant at Renukoot to 50 MW from 25 MW. At present, 70 per cent of the power is consumed in-house. The rest is sold to UPSEB (Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board). "Once we increase the capacity of caustic soda to 1.30 lakh tonne we would be consuming all the power produced by our plant. From then onwards we would stop selling power to UPSEB," he said.

Talking about the hazards of using mercury cell for the production of caustic soda, he pointed out that KCIL has taken several measures to check pollution and has already committed to the Union Government to shift the total production to new membrane cell technology.

At present, out of 90,000 tpa, 50,000 tpa is produced from mercury cell and the rest is from membrane cell technology. He further said that poly-aluminium chloride, a water clarifier and used for water treatment plants, has received good response from the market. The product is a replacement of the traditional alum.

"From 8,000 tonnes in 2005-06 it would increase to 15,000-18,000 tonnes by the end of the current financial year. Our target is to sell 30,000 tonne by 2007-08. We are selling to Ballarpur Industries, JUSCO and Delhi Jal Board," he said.

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