Mumbai, India – Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has reported has reported both progress and volatility for its elastomers business segment during the first half of its financial year to 30 Sept.
Butadiene prices were particularly volatile, though remaining at low levels – $1300-1500/tonne – as new capacities came online and demand reduced from synthetic rubber and ABS sectors in Asia.
Volatility was primarily on account of shutdowns, which tightened supplies at certain times, said RIL. Prices, it noted, were also driven down by a negative trend in the downstream synthetic rubber industry led by reducing natural rubber prices.
Meanwhile, RIL said it had stabilised operations of its new swing 40ktpa polybutadiene rubber (PBR) plant at Hazira, which is equipped to produce nickel and neodymium grade PBR.
With the addition of new facility, RIL’s total PBR capacity stands at 114ktpa. Product from the new plant has been placed in the market after due approvals from the end-users.
Local availability of additional PBR has helped domestic rubber industry to reduce their dependence on imports, according to the Indian group.
The elastomers unit is benefitting from the strength of the Indian automotive sector, which grew for five successive months since May 2014. This, said RIL, is expected to have a positive impact on synthetic rubber consumption in India.
RIL went on to announce that its new emulsion SBR plant at Hazira is likely commence operations soon. The plant has capacity to produce 150ktpa of emulsion SBR rubber that will include dry as well as oil extended grades.