New Delhi: The government on Friday said that there is a shortage of feedstock cracker in the petrochemicals sector and more private investments are required in the sector to reduce imports.
Addressing an Assocham-organised conclave on specialty chemicals, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Secretary Arun Baroka said that with electric vehicles coming up and demand for petrol/diesel set to reduce, automatically there will be more push for petrochemicals in future.
"We know that there is a shortage of feedstock and it is estimated that we need one (feedstock) cracker every year till 2040 but that kind of investment is not coming now. There will be a shortfall in terms of the numbers of crackers which are required by the country. When there is a shortage, obviously we will be dependent on imports," Baroka said.
An investment of Rs 18 lakh crore is required for increasing feedstock cracker as estimated in a report by Indian Oil Ltd and Engineers India Ltd. However, the government alone cannot make this kind of investment, he said, and called for more private investments. In order to attract investments, the government is providing an enabling environment. The concerned ministries are working together in a collaborative manner, he added.
In case of the agro-chemical sector, the secretary said that the government is working on the issues raised by the industry. For instance, the concerns related to 'Deep Sea Discharge Norms' has been taken up with the environment ministry. The growth in specialty chemicals is higher than the average growth of chemicals sector. India is a net exporter of specialty chemicals and there is a huge potential to tap in this area, Baroka said. The secretary also stressed on collaboration between industry, government and academia to tap the potential in the specialty chemicals sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Joint Secretary in Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals Susanta Kumar Purohit said most of the government's schemes are focused on addressing the challenges faced by the industry.
He also said that the government is mulling over setting up of chemical parks in collaboration with private sector. "We are in talks with state governments. These are in initial stage," he added.
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