Meghmani ropes in IFC as strategic investor in chlor-alkali plant

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Ahmedabad, Mar 13 (UNI) International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group will invest Rs 46.1 crore in Meghmani Finechem (MFL), a subsidiary of Ahmedabad-based Meghmani Organics (MOL), a global producer of pigments and agro-chemicals.

An agreement in this regard was signed today with MOL and IFC as a strategic investor in its proposed Rs 554.2 crore investment for its chlor-alkali project to be set up at Dahej in Bharuch district in South Gujarat region which will employ the environment-friendly and energy-efficient membrane cell technology.

IFC manager for chemicals Lance Crist said, ''With this funding, IFC will help Meghmani become an important player in the pigment and agro-chemicals industry and achieve international standards in environmental and social performance. By installing a reverse osmosis system for reusing the water at the plant, the company has committed itself to a more efficient use of water resources.'' Jayanti Patel, Chairman of the MOL, said that IFC will also provide Rs 80 crore as long term loan and will have the right to subscribe to warrants upto Rs five crore.

This is a significant development as MFL is the first project for which IFC has gone beyond its normal investment normal of 20 per cent to close the financial gap, thus reflecting its confidence in the potential and viability of the project.

He said that the commercial production of the first phase of MFL is targeted to commence from January 2009. The project involves the development of a large scale caustic chlorine complex that will produce caustic soda lye, chlorine gas and hydrogen gas in the first phase. Since the project is power intensive, the company is also setting up a 40-megawatt captive power plant along with the main project.

In the second phase, it will involve derivative projects based on caustic chlorine. The caustic-chlorine chemicals are used in a multitude of industries including pigments, pesticides, production of metals and resource materials, pulp and paper, petroleum and natural gas extraction. The products are used in industries for making pigments, pesticides, pulp and paper, organic chemicals, plastics, industrial solvents, water treatment chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

The project is to utilize the membrane cell technology from Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation of Japan, one of the most established technology providers for the manufacture of chlor-alkali chemicals in the world. The company has acquired 161-acre site for the project in Dahej, widely considered a strategic location for chemical industries as it is an approved Chemical Special Economic Zone, he said.

Mr Patel said that MOL established in 1986 in Ahmedabad, manufactures pigments and agro-chemicals and the company specializes in the manufacture of green and blue pigments products that span multiple applications such as printing inks, plastics, paints, textiles, leather and rubber. Meghmani also produces a broad spectrum of commonly used pesticides for crop and non-crop applications. The company counts amongst its customers leading pesticide manufacturers from North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, he said.


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