Much of this rapid growth is being driven by huge growth, perhaps of 40 percent a year, in the automotive sector across the Indian subcontinent, according to G Ramachandran, managing director of Manali Petrochemicals and vice-chairman of IPUA.
Ramachandran said PU production in India is now 300 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa), while in 1991, it was at only 7 ktpa. Flexible slabstock accounts for 100 ktpa, and rigid for 80 ktpa, while shoe soling takes another 50 ktpa, and flexible moulded foam makes up 40 ktpa.
As Rahul Gautam, chairman of IPUA and ceo of Sheela Foam noted, "The elephant is now ready to fly," especially if the GST (Goods, services and Taxes) regulation takes effect, to make India much more like a common single market. Gautam said this would be the single most significant step in aiding PU growth, and that the Indian government has laid down a road map for GST in its most recent budget.
Rapid infrastructure development in roads, rail and construction is also being stimulated by massive government funding, and education for all is another vital part of stimulating economic development, Gautam said.
See more in India's polyurethanes sector and its rapid development in the next issue of Urethanes Technology International.