Gypsum industry news
India: Larsen & Toubro has signed a long-term technical licence agreement with Japan's Chiyoda Corporation for its Chiyoda Thoroughbred 121TM (CT-121TM) flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) technology. The agreement grants L&T exclusive rights to undertake engineering, procurement and construction with this system.
The deal follows a notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) issued in December 2015 that placed new limits on SO2 emissions for coal-based thermal power plants. The legislation has called for mandatory installation of FGD systems in new power plants, including those currently under construction and many that are already operational.
In the CT-121TM FGD process developed by Chiyoda SO2 is absorbed from flue gas generated by coal-fired, oil-fired and other types of boilers and removed as gypsum. Unlike conventional processes in which the reagent slurry is sprayed on flue gas, the CT-121TM process uses Chiyodas unique absorber, the Jet Bubbling Reactor, in which the flue gas is blown into the reagent slurry, forming a fine bubble bed where SO2 is absorbed, oxidised by injected air, and then neutralised by ground limestone slurry.
Larsen & Toubro and Chiyoda's relationship dates back over two decades with L&T-Chiyoda Limited, a joint-venture catering to the hydrocarbon sector. Through the signing of this agreement, the two companies have extended their association into the power sector as well.
India: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started investigating officials at Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT) for corruption related to the sale of gypsum. The CBI is exploring whether a cartel was formed between FACT and Nagarjuna Chemicals to sell fertiliser-derived gypsum to NSS Trade India Private Limited at a significantly lower rate than the market value, according to the Times of India. In addition a clause in an agreement between the companies suggest that they may have intended to keep the price of gypsum artificially high to the end clients.
India: Grenzebach BSH has signed a deal with Classic Gypsum of Kolhapur, Maharashtra to supply a plaster and plasterboard plant. No value for the contract has been announced. The deal was formalised at the 16th Global Gypsum Conference that took place in Bangkok, Thailand.
India: Engineering company Essar Projects has won a US$44.7m contract from the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Co-operative (IFFCO) to build a phosphogypsum stack at its Paradip plant in Odisha, India's largest phosphatic fertiliser complex.
The project has two phases. Phase I, which is valued at about US$28m, involves completion of approximately 60% of the total construction and must be completed in 20 months. The second phase involves construction of the remaining 40% and will have to be completed in 10 months. Essar Projects has completed three projects for IFFCO Paradip to date.
"The fact that this is our fourth major back-to-back project with IFFCO, is a reflection of the customer's confidence in our capabilities. We are pleased to say that we have already delivered some key works of the current contract that had to be completed before the onset of the monsoon," said AV Amarnath, COO, Essar Projects.
India: Gyp Elite India Private Limited in Nellore, Andra Pradesh plans to build a new gypsum wallboard plant in southern India. The plant will have a 300t/day calcination production capacity and a 10Mm2/yr wallboard capacity. It will also be able to produce ceiling tiles, grids and steel sections. Construction is set to start in August 2016 with commercial production scheduled for late March 2017. The project has an investment of US$15m.
India: With glass reinforced gypsum panels manufactured by FACT-RCF Building Products Limited (FRBL) growing popular, the joint venture company's turnover is expected to surpass US$2.95m during its current financial year.
The growth is significant given that the company's turnover was less than US$73,950 two years ago. During the previous financial year, turnover touched US$369,754, according to C P Dinesh, Managing Director of FRBL.
The sale of gypsum panels during the first nine months of its current fiscal year brought in US$665,233. About 100,000ft2/yr of panels is expected to be sold during the year. Dinesh said that gypsum panels had become acceptable in the country as an alternative to conventional building materials due to their environment friendliness and cost-efficiency.
India: Rajasthan's suspended mining secretary Ashok Singhvi, who was arrested for allegedly running a massive bribery racket, was instrumental in throwing open Rajasthan's gypsum reserves, which are the largest in the country, to indiscriminate mining.
On 17 August 2014, the mines department headed by Singhvi de-reserved gypsum mining in Rajasthan, ending the exclusive gypsum mining rights enjoyed by state-owned Rajasthan Mines and Minerals Ltd (RSMM). According to documents recently accessed by local press, the mines department threw open some 28.3km2 of gypsum mines without inviting applications or notifying specific mining zones, in clear violation of the centre's 30 October 2014 guidelines. Several of the leases were granted on 12 January 2015, one day before the central government promulgated the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, which ended discretionary bases of awarding leases and made auction the sole method of allotment.
The guidelines, issued to curb illegal mining, intended to provide greater transparency in the use of natural resources. However, documents show that the Rajasthan Mines Department granted 15 gypsum mining leases against applications dated before 17 August 2014, when gypsum mining was the exclusive right of RSMM and no applications for its mining could have been entertained from anyone else. Some applications dated as far back as 8 May 2012, more than three years before gypsum was de-reserved for mining by private companies. This meant that leases were granted to 'favourites' on back-dated applications so they could qualify on a 'first come, first served' basis. Leases were hurriedly awarded on this basis to avoid running into the new MMDR ordinance, which came in to effect on 13 January 2015 and mandated the auction route for granting leases.
India: Saint Gobain Gyproc will set up a new US$60m manufacturing plant in India. "We have identified western India as suitable location for the new plant," said V Subramanian, Managing Director of Gypsum Business for Saint Gobain India. A final decision on the location will be taken by the end of 2015.
Gyproc India already has three manufacturing plants in the country in Jind (near Delhi), Wada (near Mumbai) and Bengaluru. The combined production capacity of these plants is about 46Mm2/yr. "Our capacity utilisation ratio is very high. The proposed new plant will add another 30Mm2/yr of capacity,'' added Subramanian.
India: Gypsum wallboard and plaster maker FACT-RCF Building Products Ltd (FRBPL) is expecting to sign a supply contract with Tata Housing. FRBPL is a 50:50 joint venture between Kochi-based Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd and Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilisers Ltd (RCF).
"The negotiations are on with Tata Housing. We hope to conclude the negotiations soon and ink the deal," said C P Dinesh, managing director of FRBPL. Dinesh said that the plant in Kerala has a capacity of 1.4Mm2/yr and started production in 2012. According to Dinesh, Tata Housing is planning to construct ground plus four buildings and needs wallboard panels in large numbers.
India: Saint-Gobain, which is celebrating its 350th anniversary, has its sights set firmly on the future and, in particular, in India. It entered India in 1996 and now has 20 manufacturing plants and about 4900 employees there.
Saint-Gobain's two ambitions for its businesses in India are to shape the future of and to become the reference for sustainable habitat and to more than double its business in India and to exceed sales of US$1.61bn by 2019.
"India has been an important market and investment destination for Saint-Gobain and, going forward, will be even more so," said Anand Mahajan, Saint-Gobain's general delegate for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.