Indian state-owned petrochemical producer Gail plans to build the country’s first propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at Usar in the western state of Maharashtra by 2024, aiming to meet a projected increase in domestic demand for polypropylene (PP).

The PDH unit will have a nameplate capacity of 500,000 t/yr. Propylene production from the PDH plant will feed into an integrated polypropylene (PP) plant with the

same capacity. India’s PP demand is expected to rise to 6.3mn t in 2025 from 4.9mn t in the whole of 2020, according to Argus’ analysis.

The unit will be the first of its kind in India and south Asia. India’s propylene output currently comes from steam crackers and fluid catalytic crackers.

Gail has selected US engineering company Lummus Technology and Switzerland-based specialty chemical firm Clariant Catalysts to build the PDH plant. The project will cost $1.2bn and is expected to start up by 2024, according to Lummus.

Neighbouring Pakistan also expects to start up its first PDH-PP plant by 2024-2025.

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