India's Supreme Petrochem (SPL) has plans on the cards to set up four plants to manufacture extruded polystyrene (XPS- known as Styrofoam) insulation board to cater to the growing demand for eco-friendly material for construction, as it aids in reducing energy consumption in commercial and residential buildings. SPL has plans to invest an approximate of Rs 100 crore on the expansion over the next few years. SPL is in the process of sourcing the equipment from overseas machinery suppliers.
The first plant would be set up at Amdoshi near Nagothane with a capacity of about 5,000 tpa and is expected to be commissioned by June 2008. Upon commissioning of the first plant, SPL plans other projects near Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. As the insulation material is very light and large in volume, plants will be required to be set up near the consuming areas, to avoid huge transportation costs.
XPS is produced from a mixture of about 90-95% polystyrene and 5-10% gaseous blowing agent, most commonly pentane or carbon dioxide. The voids filled with trapped gas give it low thermal conducted.
Use of insulation foam board is growing in international markets because it makes ideal construction material, with petrochem majors like Dow and BASF being among the major players that convert polystyrene into XPS.
SPL is promoted by Supreme Industries and R Raheja Investments with both holding 29.67% stake in the company. It is the largest polystyrene producer in India, recording a net profit of Rs 33 crore on sales of Rs 1,500 crore in 2006-07.