GAIL plans expansion at Pata

India's state-run GAIL plans to concentrate on petrochemical capacity expansion at Pata, in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh. With this end in view, the company plans to expand Pata plant capacity to 500,000 tpa by installing a sixth furnace at the gas cracker unit with an estimated investment of around Rs 1 billion. Stone & Webster has suggested the installation of a sixth furnace as necessary to debottleneck plant capacity to 500,000 tons. After the completion of its 100,000 tpa high-density polyethylene plant last year, production capacity of the Pata plant is currently at 410,000 tons. Installation of the fifth furnace will push up the cracker plant's ethylene output to 440,000 tons in another six months - utilising 10% more than the designed capacity. GAIL plans to increase its share in the profitable petrochemical business, which contributed nearly 32% to its bottomline in the financial year ended March. In 2007-2008, GAIL's polymer production rose 9% to 386,000 tons as against 354,000 tons in the previous year. Polymer sales increased 13% to 391,000 tons from 347,000 tons a year ago.
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