Deepak Phenolics Limited a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deepak Nitrite Limited, has commenced commercial production of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) which is considered an essential item in the country’s response to the Covid 19 pandemic.
IPA is an important input in the production of essential pharmaceuticals and is widely used in alcohol wipes, swabs, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, oral mouthwash. IPA also finds application in surface coatings, inks, pesticides and herbicides formulations, resins production, disinfectants and cleaning products. It is also used in acrylic emulsions and resins to create various textures.
Given the COVID 19 pandemic the demand for IPA both nationally and internationally has soared. Market research indicates global demand growing by 522,000 TPA during 2020-2024 with half of the growth from APAC. As per sources, India’s total demand for IPA is 200,000 TPA with the crisis lending tailwinds to the CAGR. Demand for IPA for sanitizers has more than doubled since before the pandemic.
DPL commenced production of IPA at its manufacturing facility located at Dahej, with an installed capacity of 30,000 TPA. The plant will make IPA from acetone that it manufactures in the same facility thus mitigating supply side risks.
Deepak Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, states, “We are committed to a safe and quick ramp-up in capacity utilization. As a concerned citizen and in keeping with the nation’s goal of self-reliance, both Deepak Nitrite and Deepak Fertilizers can meet the demand collectively.”
“I must add that the central ministry has been proactive and supportive, the Industry commissioner followed up on progress of the pre-commissioning activity and helped in giving necessary support for timely commissioning of the plant,” shares Mehta.
IPA faces competition as Ethanol is being pushed as an alternative with sugar mills and distilleries being permitted to make sanitizers. However, IPA has certain advantages over ethanol for hand sanitizer use and is globally a preferred ingredient for hand sanitizer as it has proven anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-infectant properties, does not dehydrate and is therefore soft on the skin.
Talking about the demand for IPA, post COVID 19, Mehta adds, “We are confident that more and more pharmaceutical products will be made in India, owing to seamless supply of IPA.”
In keeping with industry standards, DPL management has taken safety measures that are considered as global best practices to protect its workforce, equipment and material at the plant. Due care is taken keeping process safety as a priority in the midst of manpower constraints while ramping up capacity utilization.