Every time the huge empty ISO tank goes to Singapore for
filling with the hydro fluorocarbon (HFC) gas, young Anil
Jain, managing director, Refex Refrigerants Limited feel
elated. For the tanks not only come filled with gas but
also with profits.
to him the domestic market for the HFC gas is at a high.
"The demand growth is whopping 500 per cent."
However, a clear demand figure is not available.
on the demand increase, Jain is planning to expand his
Rs16-crore, 40-tonne per month (tpm) HFC storage and refilling
facility near Chennai to 250 tpm at an investment of Rs40
crore. The company will be doubling its cylinder strength
to 10,000 soon.
terms of revenue the 250-tonne facility would fetch a
turnover of Rs140 crore at the current prices." A
refilling facility near Delhi is also being planned. Closing
last year with a turnover of Rs11 crore, Refex Refrigerants
is targetting a revenue of Rs60 crore this year.
has already identified bulk clients to take care of the
existing and the proposed capacity. According to him,
Refex Refrigerants will soon start catering to Hyundai
Motors' requirements. The carmaker has decided to expand
its facility near Chennai.
carmakers like General Motors India and Hindustan Motors
Limited too have approved his product. "Each car
air conditioner requires between 600 grams to1kg of gas.
"Car manufacturers like Hyundai and Maruti have expressed
their plans to increase their production. The market for
our gas is bright," says a beaming Jain.
gas has come to fill the vacuum left by the ozone-depleting
chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydro chlorofluorocarbons
(HCFC) now being phased out in Europe. The gas is used
in cooling equipments like air conditioners, refrigerators,
deep freezers, water coolers and others.
market is divided into two segments original equipment
manufacturers or OEMs of air conditioners, refrigerators
and others and the trade and services segment. The latter
has one more sub division the conversion market,
that is, CFC-filled equipment being converted to other
gases. Today the service segment uses Freon 12 for compressors
and refrigerator and Freon 22 for air conditioners.
OEMs bring out their products filled with HFC gas, it
is the service and the conversion segment that offers
the refrigerator trade / services segment, Jain has a
tie-up with Godrej to market the gas at its 380 centres.
"Godrej wants 15 tonne per month," he adds.
The tie-up apart Refex Refrigerants also targets the refrigerator,
company offers different supply solutions for different
market segments. In the case of trade and service segment,
Refex Refrigerants will supply the gas in 10kg, 25kg and
65kg cylinders. Foe OEMs supplies Refex will use one-tonne
cylinders, or if the client wishes, even manage a storage
cylinder at its manufacturing establishment.
the refilling business attract more competitors if the
potential is huge? Jain says gas source is a major entry
barrier. "There are around eight HFC manufacturers
in the world. While some manufacturers are not willing
to sell to India, others already have their tie-up. In
addition finding experienced people to man the refilling
plant is very difficult. So the threat of new refillers
is not big," says Jain.
Refex Refrigerants' Singapore promoter, Kaltech Engineering
& Refrigeration Pte Ltd, is one of the largest traders
of HFC gas. "Last year Kaltech Engineering sourced
8,300 tonnes of HFC, which thios year is targeted to increase
to 12,000 tonnes," Jain adds.
India there are only three HFC manufacturers SRF
Limited, Navin Fluorine and Gujarat Fluorochemicals
so imports meet the demand.
organisations like Greenpeace saying that HFC is harmful
to the environment and should be replaced with alternatives
the HFC market should steady But it is going to be a long
way for that to be implemented in India as the time to
phase out CFC is there till 2010.