Tata Chemicals Aiming to Invest in Product Diversification and Widen its Soda Ash Business
- 09-Jan-2020 12:00 PM
- Journalist: Peter Schmidt
Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL), a part of US$ 110 billion Tata Group which is a global company with its expanse across 40+ countries, has divested its consumer products business to a group firm, raised its stake in the US Soda Ash business, and focused on two segments, basic chemistry and specialty chemicals. Apart from company’s Silica and nutrition solution plants which are soon to begin commercial production, the company is also planning to focus on the production of Sodium Bicarbonate, a product related to its existing Soda Ash business. Tata Chemicals has already started supplying commercial-grade Bicarbonate to Tata Power and NTPC and is looking forward to expanding its Bicarbonate capacity at its Mithapur plant by 40 per cent. The plant is likely to be operational by September 2021. However, weak balance sheets and rising power cost pose a major challenge for the company. Mumbai spot prices of soda ash, a large business segment for Tata Chemicals, remained soft at INR 24.82 per Kg ($17.4 per 50kg) due to surplus supply in the Indian market. Although demand remained variable, throughout the December month, prices of Soda Ash suffered significant cuts. Sales volumes for Soda Ash fell in the September quarter in India due to inventory adjustments. Although, some new overseas capacity additions can weigh on prices, Tata Chemicals expects demand to catch-up, bringing balance to the market.