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Centre to set up chemical hubs across country

Business Standard:  June 17, 2016

Mumbai: The Centre on Thursday announced creation of chemical hubs across the country, early environment clearances in existing clusters, adequate infrastructure, and establishment of a Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology.

In an interactive session here on Thursday after the launch of India Chem 2016, Union Minister of Chemicals and Petrochemicals Ananth Kumar admitted the industry faced challenges over environment clearances for greenfield and brownfield projects. But he said there would be no compromise over the environment and the industry would have to put in place effluent treatment plants.

“Two days ago, I had discussed the issue with Union Environment Minister Prakash Jawadekar and it was decided that environment clearances would be issued for brownfield expansion in clusters in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. If the industry tells us it will adhere to all environment parameters and go in for effluent treatment, we will facilitate brownfield expansion clearances,” Kumar said.

He announced that a special division for facilitation will soon be set up in his ministry.

Further, Kumar said his ministry will coordinate with states to provide adequate infrastructure including railways, highways, communication lines, power and water to the industry.

According to Kumar, qualified manpower is another issue faced by the chemicals and petrochemicals industry. He announced that the Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology will be set up to address the issue and the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology will be the mentor organisation.'' We will start five centres of the Central Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology and to make this happen speedily,'' he said.

On the development of reverse special economic zones (SEZs) to address the feed stock issue faced by the industry, Kumar recalled India's recent deal with Iran to develop Chabahar port there with an investment of $500 million. Additional $16 billion will be invested in the Chabahar free trade zone. The project will helped tackle India's hydrocarbon needs.

This apart, the Centre is also pursuing plan for setting up of reverse SEZ in Mozambique. ''Though the government has yet to firm up detailed plan and the quantity of gas to be sourced from it,'' Kumar said.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.