Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) was the first to manufacture Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA) in India. The chemical is one of the efficient raw materials for manufacturing Polyester Filament Yarn (PFY). Why its efficient is because the other raw material in place of PTA, Di Methyl Terephthalate (DMT) generates a by-product called Methanol and more of DMT is consumed per kg of PFY. Methanol generated is secondary in grade and is purchased by small processors for making other chemicals. PFY in turn after some treatment is sold in the market, to the looms and large textile mills to manufacture Sarees, Dress Material and other textiles. The other major raw material which goes into the making of PFY is Mono Ethylene Glycol.
PTA was packed in 25 kgs bags or 1 M.T jumbo bags in powder form. MEG is always in a liquid state and transported through Stainless Steel Tankers or Epicoated Tankers.
RIL was manufacturing PTA in jumbo bags of 1 M.T at their Hajira plant in Gujarat.
I as a head of commercial department was regularly inter-acting with RIL for procurement of PTA and MEG for Century Enka Limited’s (CEL) Bharuch plant in Gujarat and it took about 3 hours transportation time by trucks or tankers. CEL’s Bharuch plant for manufacturing PFY was a state of the art plant producing about 60,000 M.T per annum. About 35,000 M.T. of PTA was required per annum. After some supplies were made in 25 kgs bags and 1 M.T jumbo bags, RIL with CEL’s approval switched over to 1M.T jumbo bags for all their supplies. There were savings in cost. The savings were not considerable to either of the parties (RIL & CEL).
During the course of our discussions, I had mentioned about Ambuja Cement and how they were transporting cement. Ambuja cements have taken the lead in transporting cement in bulk through tanker type vehicles and appropriate pumping system. RIL had caught up on the Ambuja cement idea and worked it out in about 3 months’ time for transporting powdered PTA in bulk including tanker type vehicles and pumping system. CEL on its side has done the necessary minor modifications. Because of these changes the productivity has improved by at least 5%.
The total cost benefit was about Rs 24.5 crores. Needless to say that it was a win-win situation for both the buyer and seller and the cost saving was shared by both RIL and CEL. The tanker costs for transporting powdered PTA were borne by RIL.