Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals ltd: Enriching Gujarat, Empowering India

Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals ltd: Enriching Gujarat, Empowering India

By OUR CORRESPONDENT | VADODARA | 5 June, 2016
Established in 1973 in Vadodara, Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Limited (GACL) has become a leading manufacturer of caustic soda and allied chemicals. Today, by harnessing cutting-edge technology and ground-breaking research and development, GACL has emerged as the largest manufacturer of caustic soda with 14% share in the national market. From an initial capacity of 37,425 TPA caustic soda, the organisation today has a capacity of 4,30,000 TPA spread over complexes at Vadodara and Dahej. By focusing on broadening the product portfolio, GACL now offers a bouquet of nine product groups consisting of 37 products. 
 
‘Green Attitude’
Beyond its dynamic product basket, GACL has always distinguished itself with its “Green Attitude”. GACL is a corporation with innumerable “Green firsts”. It was the first corporation to replace the mercury cell technology with the environment-friendly membrane cell technology. GACL was also the first state promoted enterprise to adopt renewable wind energy to power its energy needs. It has established wind farm having an installed capacity of 156.75 MW and another 30 MW project is under consideration. After that, the total wind power capacity will be 186.75 MW. With focus on world-class operational processes, GACL has added ISO certifications like ISO 9001:2008,  ISO 14001:2004, BS/OHSAS 18001:2007 and EN ISO 50001:2011. 
Another hallmark of GACL’s progressive strides has been leveraging its strengths including economies of scale, state-of-the-art technologies and integration of downstream units with main plants and capacity utilisation. The capacity utilisation achieved by the organisation for caustic soda was 89%, and was over 100% in Chloro-methane, Potassium Hydroxide and Aluminum Chloride, while for Hydrogen Peroxide and Phosphoric Acid plants, it was about 100%.
With strong dealer network, in-house research and development facilities and proximity to major raw material sources and markets by balancing the interest of the customers, shareholders, employees, society, and “Mother Nature”, GACL is scaling new peaks of glory. It is playing a key role in enriching Gujarat and empowering the nation. 
 
Touching Lives 
GACL has become a truly competitive and global corporation. It offers 37 products having domestic, agricultural and industrial applications. The synergistic product development techniques and processes with the best corporations of the world have helped GACL consolidate its place as a leading chemical corporation. GACL is constantly diversifying its offering, adding new products and expanding its existing capacities. It is also considering manufacturing of various chlorine-based products so that the production of caustic soda can be optimised while maintaining its prime position in Chlor-Alkali and other integrated downstream products. Going beyond, GACL is also exploring possibilities for setting up plants for producing new value-added products having applications in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, personal care products, liquid detergent, epoxy resins, etc and many such fields.
 
Inspired by the best 
GACL has excellent technological tie-ups with the best in the world. For cholro-methanes, GACL has tied up with ShinEtsu of Japan. For Poly Aluminum Chloride, Sodium Chlorate and Caustic, the company had tied up with Uhde, Germany. For its Hydrogen Peroxide initiative, the organisation has tied up with CEAB , Sweden, and for the Phosphoric acid venture, GACL has inked an alliance with IMI of Israel and Nirokesner of France. 
 
focus on Research
With pioneering research and development initiatives, GACL is formulating its future path of progress. Manned by a well-qualified team of experts and advanced facilities, GACL is working towards new product process development, process improvement, and variations. The R&D initiatives are also aimed at reducing costs and developing import substitute products. The organisation is also working to develop products having application in cooling water treatment, environment protection and water conservation. The organisation has successfully developed an indigenous technology in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, to manufacture Hydrazine Hydrate, an import substitute product, using Hydrogen Peroxide as the raw material. The commercial plant to manufacture Hydrazine Hydrate will be established after optimising/stabilising the process developed at the pilot scale.
 
Setting benchmarks 
GACL’s pioneering efforts in every field of operations were manifest yet again when the company constructed a 1.6 km pipeline from its Dahej plant to the railway yard at Dahej. This facilitates swift and prompt dispatch of Caustic Soda Lye and other value-added liquid products for transportation to consumers across India. This new pipeline infrastructure reduces the transfer time of liquid products into the rail cargo, brings down overall costs and results in simplification of the entire process of safe loading of various liquid products. Another significant venture of the organisation is the joint venture with the National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO) for setting up an 800TPD Caustic Soda plant which will be known as GACL-NALCO Alkalies and Chemicals Limited. Both of the leading corporations will also create a 120MW coal-based power plant at Dahej, Gujarat. Apart from these, the company is also working on establishing new projects and expanding its capacity. These projects include:
Caustic Soda Expansions to 200  TPD at Dahej
New CLM 600  TPD  
New Phosphoric Acid Project  300 TPD
Caustic Potash Expansion 60 TPD
100 MW Coal based Power Plant
Chlorine Park at Dahej to empower SMEs
 
Empowering society 
GACL has always been at the forefront in discharging its duties towards society. GACL has been continuously working to promote better standards of living among the communities close to its area of operations. By participating in infrastructure development initiatives, the organisation is guiding communities to experience a better lifestyle. The company has also been promoting activities of Society for Village Development in Petrochemicals Area. Beyond that, the company is constantly involved in encouraging education. During the Kanya Kelavani and Shala Praveshotsav, GACL provided financial assistance for procurement of school bags and stationery kits for students. The organisation has also provided multi-media system for schools in the area surrounding the Vadodara Complex. On the healthcare front, the company has taken the initiative to help children with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia. GACL also facilitated English language training for cops of the Vadodara Police force.
 
‘Growing with Nature’
GACL, despite being a chemical manufacturer, is a company that carries its passion for protecting the environment on its sleeve. It is a vibrant and eco-friendly organisation with abiding ethics and principles. Starting from its premises, the organisation has created a recharge borewell for harvesting rainwater and to effectively recharge the ground water levels.  In the Vadodara Complex of the company, nearly 27,800 trees have been planted and 30,000 sq. mtrs of green area, including lawn gardens, have been developed. In the Dahej Complex of the company, nearly 33,275 trees have been planted and 40,356 sq. mtrs of garden have been developed. The thriving flora and fauna testifies to the organisation’s belief in the doctrine “Growing with Nature”. 
 
Excellence acknowledged
GACL is one of the most decorated corporations. It has received many prestigious laurels from reputed institutions and bodies. GACL has received the National Energy Conservation Award consecutively for five times and many other awards, including the SCOPE-National Corporate Governance Award, National Safety Award, NSCI safety Award, ICC Award for Excellence in Energy conservation and Management, TERI Award, ICWAI national merit award for cost management, the CHEMEXCIL Award for outstanding export performance, and the FGI Award for Excellence in the field of Export Performance and Promotion. Besides these, the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai SCGA Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practices, Gujarat Safety Council’s certificate of appreciation and the AIOE National award for maintaining healthy industrial relations are some of the other noted laurels in GACL’s crown.

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