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Industrial gases co Air Products may invest $5 bln in India in 5 yrs



Thursday, Dec 26

 

By Sukalp Sharma

 

NEW DELHI – US-based industrial gases major Air Products and Chemicals, Inc is bullish on the Indian market and may invest as much as $5 bln in India over the next five years, the company's Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Richard Boocock told Cogencis.

 

Air Products has an industrial gas complex at Kochi for supplying industrial gases to Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd’s Kochi refinery. Its coal gasification technology is being deployed in the Talcher fertilizer project in Odisha that is being executed by a consortium of public sector undertakings. Apart from these, the company has industrial gases supply operations in the country

 

Boocock said Air Products is looking for opportunities to set up industrial gases units in India to cater to sectors like refining, petrochemicals, and manufacturing. The New York Stock Exchange-listed company is also exploring more investment opportunities in the coal, petroleum coke, and lignite gasification segments.

 

He added that Air Products is in talks with a number of Indian companies–public and private sector–for supplying industrial gases as well as deploying its gasification technologies, but declined to name any of these companies.

 

For its industrial gases units, Air Products follows the "build-own-operate" model, under which it invests and builds, owns, and operates industrial gases production units next to the facilities of its clients and supplies industrial gases to clients under long-term contracts. The company's Kochi facility is based on the same model.

 

Boocock said the company wants to follow the same model for its future investments in India. He said Air Products is in talks with a number of Indian refiners and petrochemical manufacturers for replicating its Kochi facility.

 

Although the company is not interested in directly investing in the Indian refinery and petrochemicals sector, Boocock said Air Products may explore setting up its own coal gasification facilities in India. Coal gasification is the process of producing synthesis gas–-a mixture consisting carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, natural gas, and water vapour–from coal.

 

The government is keen on large-scale coal gasification in India, given that it provides a cleaner and environment-friendly option to exploit the massive coal reserves. Large-scale coal gasification would also help India reduce its energy imports, which are a major cause of foreign exchange outflows.  End

 

US$1 = 71.25 rupees

 

Edited by Vandana Hingorani

 

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