Indorama Ventures, the Bangkok-based chemicals maker controlled by the Lohia family, is in initial talks with the Chatterjee Group (TCG) to buy a stake in Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL). The plant was commissioned in 2000 and the company is one of the largest in India in terms of production capacity. It is not yet decided whether Indorama will acquire a part of TCG’s 48 per cent stake or also from other shareholders as well, which also includes Tata Group, Indian Oil Corp.
TCG has acquired a majority stake in Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.’s Indian subsidiary, MCC PTA India, for close to $48 million last year. The distressed assets deal rescued the ailing MCC PTA, a producer of purified terephthalic acid, or PTA from potential closure as Mitsubishi Chemical decided to scale back investments in commodity chemicals such as PTA to focus on other businesses.
Indorama Ventures formed an equal joint venture with Kolkata-based Dhunseri Petrochem to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resins, a raw material used in textile and plastics industry in September. Dhunseri Petrochem’s PET resin business with a 480,000 tonnes per annum plant in Haldia, was transferred to the newly formed company Dhunseri Petglobal, according to the agreement.
It was reported, TCG had submitted a proposal to set up a refinery in Haldia and would invest up to Rs 20,000 crores for the project. Significantly, a refinery was part of the original plan when HPL was being built in the 1990s.