Interview MIKE BANACH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, HONEYWELL UOP INDIA PVT. LTD.
“UOP technologies are responsible for processing more than half the country’s oil, more than 70% of its gasoline, and more than 85% of its biodegradable detergents”
(Assam) in 1931. We have worked with all of India’s reﬁning companies since that time, and our technology now is deployed at every reﬁnery in India.
oneywell UOP is a part of the ‘Performance Materials and Technologies’ strategic business group of the diversiﬁed American conglomerate, Honeywell. It is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum reﬁning, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. As refineries and petrochemical plants around the world become more complex, Honeywell UOP’s deep process knowledge, combined with software expertise from Honeywell Process Solutions, has been enabling oil and gas companies to operate far more efﬁciently and proﬁtably. The company has been a long-term player in the Indian reﬁning and petrochemicals sectors and is now gearing up to participate in the anticipated growth boom in petrochemicals and related industries – notwithstanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this email interaction, Mr. Mike Banach, Managing Director, Honeywell UOP India Pvt. Ltd., elaborates on the company’s business strategy in India, the shift towards greater reﬁnerypetrochemical integration in the country and the company’s future plans. Excerpts from the interaction: How do you assess the recent developments in the Indian petrochemicals sector? At the time of writing, there is a great deal of uncertainty due to issues created by the Coronavirus. But over the next ﬁve to 10 years or more, we see conti-
Chemical Weekly April 28, 2020
nued growth in the population and GDP in India. This will drive additional demand for transportation fuels, but also far greater demand for oleﬁns and aromatics. These are the primary components for making the plastic resins, ﬁlms and ﬁbres that comprise consumer durable goods. In addition, demand continues to rise for linear alkylbenzene (LAB), which is the primary component in biodegradable detergents. As the population and its purchasing power continues to rise, demand for these products will continue to grow. As a result, Indian reﬁning companies will begin to expand more broadly into petrochemicals. What differentiates Honeywell UOP’s approach to Indian markets – is it product innovations, customised solutions or other factors? What are your models for engagement with Indian partners? UOP is the leading provider of process technology and products to the reﬁning and petrochemicals industry in India. In fact, our company licensed the technology for India’s ﬁrst reﬁnery at Digboi
We worked with Indian oil companies to provide the technology to make Bharat Standard (BS) clean fuels standards possible. We established a large technology centre – our largest outside the US – in Gurgaon in 2012. This became the centre for much of our technology development in India, and across the region. Many of our technology partnerships in India rely on this centre. One recent example is a new regulation that ends the use of kerosene as a cooking fuel. This left the industry with too much kerosene capacity, so we developed a technology to convert this kerosene into petrochemicals. Today, UOP technologies are responsible for processing more than half the country’s oil, more than 70 percent of its gasoline, and more than 85 percent of its biodegradable detergents. Can you elaborate on the role of the Gurgaon technology centre in developing the varied research capabilities in reﬁning, petrochemical and other sectors? This is where we apply our learnings from our customers to new technology and product development. Solutions we develop for our Indian customers often can be made available to customers in other parts of the world. This stateof-the-art centre is dedicated to accelerating new technologies for the reﬁning and petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, and refrigeration industries. It addresses the economic and chemical engineering challenges of feedstock and 121