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BPCL to Supply Propane for GAIL’s Propane Dehydrogenation Plant

BPCL to supply Propane to India's First Propane Dehydrogenation Plant being setup by GAIL at Usar, Maharashtra.

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New Delhi, November 1, 2023 – Two Indian corporate giants, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited, have forged a groundbreaking collaboration that will reshape India’s petrochemical industry. BPCL will Supply Propane for GAIL’s Propane Dehydrogenation Plant.

15-Year Petrochemical Supply Agreement Inked

On November 1, 2023, an agreement was signed in New Delhi, solidifying a 15-year supply commitment of Propane, a crucial petrochemical feedstock, for GAIL’s Usar Propane Dehydrogenation – PolyPropylene, PDH-PP project in Usar, Maharashtra. Shri D. V. Mamadapur, Executive Director (LPG) of BPCL, and Shri Kamlesh Sharma, ED Marketing Retail of GAIL, put their signatures on the agreement in the presence of Shri Sukhmal Jain, Director (Marketing) of BPCL, and Sanjay Kumar, Director (Marketing) of GAIL.

A Multi-Billion Rupee Deal

The 15-year supply contract, estimated at a value of over Rs 63,000 Crores, will see BPCL providing GAIL with 600 KTPA of Propane from its LPG import facility at Uran. This facility is presently capable of handling 1 MMTPA of LPG imports and is undergoing expansion to accommodate 3 MMTPA of propane and butane imports, reaffirming BPCL’s commitment to meeting the growing needs of the Indian petrochemical industry.

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India’s First Propane Dehydrogenation Plant by GAIL

GAIL’s Usar propane dehydrogenation-Polypropylene, PDH-PP project in Usar, Maharashtra, represents the inception of India’s inaugural propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant. It is set to commence operations in 2025. The PDH unit will boast a nameplate capacity of 500 KTPA, with propylene production seamlessly integrated into a polypropylene (PP) plant of equal capacity.

Also Read | GAIL Explores Carbon Capture and Utilisation for Net Zero 2040 Goals

What is Propane dehydrogenation and the uses of PolyPropylene?.

Propane dehydrogenation (PDH) is a chemical process used to convert propane, a hydrocarbon gas, into propylene, a valuable petrochemical compound. The process involves the removal of hydrogen atoms from propane molecules to create propylene. This is achieved through the catalytic dehydrogenation of propane, typically using a solid catalyst, such as a chromium oxide or mixed metal oxide catalyst.

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Key Steps in Propane Dehydrogenation

  1. Dehydrogenation: Propane is passed over the catalyst at elevated temperatures, typically in the range of 500-600°C. In this step, hydrogen atoms are removed from propane molecules, leading to the formation of propylene and hydrogen gas.
  2. Separation: The resulting mixture contains propylene and hydrogen gas. The propylene is separated from hydrogen through various separation processes, often involving distillation or other separation methods.

Uses of Polypropylene

  • Packaging Materials: Polypropylene is commonly used to make various packaging materials, such as plastic bags, containers, and packaging films, due to its lightweight and durable properties.
  • Textiles: It’s used to create textiles for a variety of applications, including clothing, upholstery, and carpets, because of its resistance to moisture and staining.
  • Automotive Components: Polypropylene is used in the automotive industry to manufacture components like bumpers, interior trim, and battery cases due to its lightweight and impact resistance.
  • Medical Devices: It’s employed in the production of medical devices and equipment, including syringes, labware, and prosthetic devices because of its biocompatibility.
  • Construction Materials: Polypropylene is used in construction for products like pipes, fittings, and roofing materials because of its resistance to chemicals and durability.
  • Consumer Goods: It’s found in various consumer goods, including toys, stationery, and household items due to its affordability and versatility.
  • Furniture: Polypropylene is used in the production of furniture, including chairs and outdoor furniture, thanks to its resistance to moisture and UV light.
  • Films and Sheets: It’s used to create films and sheets for applications like stationery, signage, and graphic arts.
  • Industrial and Chemical Products: Polypropylene is utilized in the production of industrial products such as tanks, pipes, and chemical containers due to its resistance to corrosive chemicals.
  • Fibers: Polypropylene fibers are used in applications like ropes, geotextiles, and packaging straps due to their strength and resistance to abrasion.

Polypropylene is highly versatile and plays a significant role in a wide range of industries due to its combination of properties, including strength, chemical resistance, and affordability.

Also Read | GAIL Mangalore Petrochemicals Plant to be commissioned by March 2025

GAIL propane dehydrogenation plant to meet the Surging Demand

This pioneering venture aligns perfectly with the surging demand for polypropylene, projected to reach 6.3 million tons by 2025, up from 4.9 million tons in 2020.

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A Milestone for Petrochemical Progress

This groundbreaking collaboration between BPCL and GAIL stands as a testament to their dedication to driving India’s petrochemical progress. It is not only a significant milestone for both organizations but also a leap forward for the nation’s thriving petrochemical sector.

About Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL)

Bharat Petroleum is a Fortune Global 500 Company. It is the second-largest Indian Oil Marketing Company, engaged in refining crude oil and marketing petroleum products. It has a significant presence in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. The company attained the coveted Maharatna status, joining the elite club of companies with greater operational and financial autonomy.

Bharat Petroleum’s refineries at Mumbai, Kochi, and Bina have a combined refining capacity of around 35.3 MMTPA. Its marketing infrastructure includes a vast network of installations, depots, energy stations, aviation service stations, and LPG distributors. The company is also actively contributing to environmental and social sustainability by planning to offer electric vehicle charging stations at around 7000 energy stations over the next 5 years.

About GAIL(India) Ltd.

GAIL (India) Ltd. was incorporated in August 1984 as a Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) with the mission of “accelerating and optimizing the effective and economic use of natural gas and its fractions for the benefit of the national economy.” The Government of India now holds 51.45% of the company’s shares. GAIL became a Navratna in 1997 and is now one of the ten Maharatna Public Sector Undertakings, the highest status conferred on any PSU.

It started as a Gas Transmission Company in the late eighties and has grown organically by setting up a large network of natural gas pipelines covering approximately 14,380 kilometers, two LPG pipeline systems spanning about 2,000 kilometers, five gas processing plants for the production of LPG and other liquid hydrocarbons with a combined production capacity of around 1.4 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA), and a gas-based integrated petrochemical plant with a capacity of 810,000 metric tonnes per annum (KTPA) of polymer.

GAIL is a pioneer in the city gas distribution (CGD) business in India. It has a presence in 67 Geographical Areas across India with eight joint ventures and three wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Also Read | India proposes Green Hydrogen Cities

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