Executive Summary

According to the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, basic chemical is divided into four sub-sectors namely organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, fertilizers and petrochemicals. Fertilizers and Petrochemicals together account for the major market share of about 90 percent. Inorganic and organic chemicals constitute the remaining 10 percent.

Considering the importance of the Indian chemical industry, Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous organization under the Department of Science & Technology (Govt. of India), New Delhi commissioned a specialized study jointly with Indian Chemical Council (ICC), Mumbai on ‘Indian Chemical Industry - Technology Imperatives & Business Opportunities’. The study aimed to identify and address the technology gaps in Indian chemical industry to catch up with the global trends and capture the needs towards formulating a technology roadmap for India with both short and long term perspectives. This report studies basic chemicals as the major segment of chemical industry. The report gives complete overview of the basic chemicals such as organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, fertilizers and petrochemicals in India.


  • In view of shortage of crude oil & natural gas, India has to look for alternate feedstocks viz., coal, biomass and possibly shale gas. Suitable technology is available which can be exploited.
  • Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to put up plants for chemicals which are in short supply with heavy import like PVC, acrylic acid, phenol, methanol.
  • Government in consultation with industry should develop a policy for allocation of feedstock to best suited products (gas for fertilizers, coal for power & methanol, naphtha for petrochemicals).
  • Govt. could boost domestic feedstock supply by ensuring adoption of the Consortium Cracker Approach. Every PCPIR must have a Naphtha Cracker which produces all the building blocks ethylene, propylene. Such crackers could be set up through Govt. PSUs. The Consortium Cracker would offer each of the building blocks to different promoters interested in setting up downstream petrochemicals and intermediates
  • The worst disaster in the history of chemical plants happened in our country in Bhopal leaving 8000 people dead and 2.25 lakh affected throughout their lives. It is desirable that an Institute of Chemical Safety be established to impart training to the people associated with chemical plants.
  • Shale gas could be a boon for India which can turn the country from energy constrained to energy surplus. Proper steps need to be taken immediately.
  • Carbon dioxide management be taken seriously by getting into algae cultivation and generating biodiesel.
  • Methanol to Gasoline (MTG) is fully compatible with conventional refinery gasoline which needs to be adopted vigorously.

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