Titanium dioxide pigment production to be jacked up to 60,000mt
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML), the most profitable public sector industrial venture under the Government of Kerala, has finalized plans for a huge investment to the tune of Rs998 crore to boost its titanium pigment (titanium dioxide) production capacity by 50 per cent- from the current 40,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes.
Chavara in Kollam where KMML is headquartered is thus set to witness the largest investments in Kerala’s industrial history as another Rs3000 crore has also been earmarked for the much-talked-about Titanium Complex for which global expression of interest (EoI) on preparing detailed project report (DPR) has already been called for.
KMML is one of country’s key producers of titanium dioxide pigment and also India’s only rutile grade titanium dioxide manufacturing facility (through chloride route).
Titanium dioxide manufacturing involves a long process that begins right from separation of ilmenite from the beach sands, converting it into synthetic rutile and then to titanium tetrachloride, and finally going through an oxidation process before it is converted into the end product of titanium dioxide pigment, which is in high demand in various commercial areas, especially in paint industry.
Talking to businessbenchmark.news, a top source who is privy to the development, said on condition not to be named, that Fact Engineering and Design Organisation (FEDO) was entrusted with the task of preparing the detailed project report (DPR) for this ambitious job and that the things have moved to the execution stage.
The finer financial details of the projects have that the capacity expansion is likely to be carried out with major funding to be in the form of debt and the rest from the internal accruals of the company that has been in profit for years together.
He explained that the debt equity ratio for this project has been tentatively fixed at 2:1 meaning that more than Rs650 crore will come to the project in the form of debt. KMML has posted a close to four-fold increase in its net profit of Rs195.78 crore for 2017-18 and continues to be the star among the PSU industries with consistent profitability.
The company is heard to be in the process of increasing the capacity of its oxygen plant at a cost of about Rs45 crore. This will help KMML in ridding of the external purchase of oxygen additionally needed in the plant, and thus making a substantial cost saving.