RIL emerges world's second largest producer of paraxylene

Reliance Industries is on Friday announced the successful commissioning of the last crystallisation train (Train 3) of the paraxylene (PX) complex at Jamnagar, Gujarat, more than doubling the plant's capacity.

With the commissioning of this plant, RIL has emerged the world's second largest producer of paraxylene after BP, with an annual capacity of 2.2 million tonnes or about 11 per cent of global production.

The plant is built with state-of-the-art crystallisation technology from BP, and is also highly energy efficient, RIL said.

Pursuant to installation and mechanical completion of the entire PX complex in the previous quarter, Reliance commissioned second phase of PX comprising the second crystallisation train (Train 2), trans-alkylation and aromatic extraction units at Jamnagar in April 2017.

Paraxylene is used to make intermediate chemicals that are then used to manufacture polyester and polyethylene terephthalate or PET. PET bottles are widely used for water because of its non-breakage properties as well as carbonated beverages because of good carbon dioxide barrier properties.

The main feedstock for paraxylene is heavy naphtha, a crude-based product which can also be converted into reformates, a blending component for high-octane gasoline.

At full capacity, Reliance's paraxylene plant would require 2.7 million tonnes per year of heavy naphtha - reducing its ability to export the product and making it likely to resort to imports of heavy naphtha, the trade sources said.