“We are very bullish on the growth of the India market. So our first priority is to win in India,” said Vince Misiti, general manager, TempRite Engineered Polymers, Lubrizol. “In the chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) sector itself, India continues to expand. We believe it’s going to be a bright future just for India.”
Lubrizol, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary with revenues close to $7 billion, had in late October signed a definitive agreement with Aditya Birla Group’s flagship to manufacture CPVC resin at Grasim’s chlor-alkali plant in Gujarat.
This special type of polymer material is widely used in hot and cold water pipes. “We have already had a market-facing approach with Ashirvad (Ashirvad Pipes) and Prince (Prince Pipes and Fittings); now with Grasim, we have touched the back-end approach too,” Misiti said.
He said the project will be implemented in phases. “The first phase will be completed at the end of 2022.”
The partnership will cater to the cold and hot water pipe segment to start with. “Then the company hopes to move into other areas such as water management chain and coating for transportation segment,” Misiti said.
“Whether it’s in the water management chain, whether it’s for water purification…or other areas of clean and healthy water being brought to Indian people, we believe that’s a key sector for India where Lubrizol can play a huge role,” he said.
Lubrizol has a $50-million (Rs 325 crore) CPVC compounding plant in Dahej that commenced operations in 2016. The plant has the capacity to produce nearly 55,000 tonnes of compounds annually. This was part of the $200-million (Rs1,300 crore) investment the company announced in 2013, which included the opening up of a resin manufacturing plant at Rayong, Thailand and an expansion facility at Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
“India is not just a base for manufacturing but is very attractive as a market,” Misiti said. “Just like other key geographical areas, India is now a destination for us.”
The company partnered with Ashirvad Pipes in 2019 to supply its fire protection systems, BlazeMaster pipes and fittings in India. In August this year, it partnered with Prince Pipes to supply FlowGuard® CPVC processors.
Lubrizol is now eyeing the growing market for health and hygiene products like hand sanitizers in the country.