Commissioning a renewed Technology Development and Customer Experience Center in Pune: Rahul Tikoo, Managing Director - South Asia Region, Huntsman Corporation

  • June 12, 2023

Huntsman introduced a new range of materials that offer exceptional strength, durability, flexibility and are designed to meet the growing demand for lightweight, high-performance materials in various industries. The company also launched new formulations of epoxy resins and curing agents that provide superior adhesion, corrosion protection, and mechanical strength 

2023 trends in Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials, and Performance Products? 

We are very optimistic about the future of Polyurethanes in India, given the country's position as one of the fastest-growing markets. Over the past decade, we have seen exponential growth in the Polyurethane industry, driven by diverse opportunities in consumer sectors such as footwear, automobiles, appliances, and construction. This growth has been further supported by a sizable middle-class and affluent youth population. 

We believe that sustainability will be a key focus for the industry going forward, and we are committed to developing new materials that are both high-performing and environmentally responsible. In addition, we see a growing demand for advanced materials that offer unique properties and characteristics, such as improved durability and enhanced comfort. At Huntsman, we are investing in research and development and collaborating with our partners to develop solutions that meet the evolving needs of our customers and the world around us. 

The composites industry has also received a huge boost with the transition from conventional rebar to composite options. This shift represents a significant step towards a future where more substantial structures can be built using reinforced materials. If the construction market can rely on composite materials, it will be a major achievement for the industry. Overall, we are excited about the possibilities for Polyurethanes and advanced materials in India and around the world, and we are committed to leading the way in innovation and sustainability. 

Key milestones achieved by Huntsman India in FY 2022-23 with respect to Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials, and Performance Products?

We have reached several significant milestones that reflect our unwavering commitment to excellence. We were honoured to be recognized by the industry for our outstanding performance in safety. Our retention of ICC approval to use Responsible Care underlines our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. We also introduced a new range of materials that offer exceptional strength, durability, and flexibility. These materials are designed to meet the growing demand for lightweight, high-performance materials in various industries. Additionally, we launched new formulations of epoxy resins and curing agents that provide superior adhesion, corrosion protection, and mechanical strength. 

Our commitment to sustainable innovation in the chemical industry is evident in our development of TEROL. This bio-based alternative to traditional materials is derived from recycled PET bottles and has been advanced for use in footwear and insulation applications. Incorporating TEROL into our products not only makes a statement on sustainability but also provides customers with high-performing, eco-friendly solutions that meet their needs while reducing waste and environmental impact. 

Furthermore, we're proud to have made significant strides in addressing the changing needs of the automotive industry, particularly with the rapid growth of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in India. Our Polyurethanes business has developed a renewed portfolio of Polyurethane solutions to meet the demands of the evolving automotive market, including materials for thermal management, lightweighting, and noise reduction in EV battery systems. At Huntsman, we're committed to creating a better future through our sustainable products and practices.  

Are you planning to manufacture battery materials in India? If yes, battery material products that Huntsman India is planning to manufacture and market? 

We are committed to contributing to the growth of the Indian Electric Vehicle (EV) market and the country's transition to a cleaner and greener future. As a leading Specialty Chemicals manufacturer, we provide comprehensive casting and impregnating resin systems for various EV components, including batteries. We are currently exploring various opportunities, which would further support the government's vision of developing a robust domestic EV ecosystem. 

Our battery material products are specifically designed to meet the unique requirements of the Indian market, including increased safety, lightweighting, and improved performance features. We offer technical support and expertise to assist EV manufacturers in selecting the right materials for their specific applications, ensuring that they meet the highest standards of quality and reliability. Through our innovative products and services, we are committed to accelerating the transition towards a more sustainable transportation system. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge solutions that support the growth of the Indian EV industry and contribute to a cleaner, greener future for all.  

How is Huntsman India striking a balance between environment friendly policies and sustainable growth? 

Huntsman India is committed to promoting sustainable growth while minimizing our environmental footprint. We strive to balance our growth objectives with environmental responsibility by implementing policies and practices that reduce waste, conserve resources, and promote sustainable development. Our Responsible Care commitment is the cornerstone of our approach, and we have established several initiatives to support this effort, such as improving our energy efficiency, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and launching a water conservation project aimed at improving water efficiency and reducing net water usage. We also leverage our expertise in chemistry to develop innovative products and processes that promote sustainability. For example, our TEROL product line offers a credible recycled alternative to traditional materials that reduce waste. We are constantly exploring new ways to innovate and provide sustainable solutions that meet the needs of our customers. 

In summary, Huntsman India is committed to promoting sustainable growth by implementing environmental policies and practices, leveraging chemistry expertise to develop sustainable products and processes, and engaging with all stakeholders to foster collaboration and promote responsible practices. Our goal is to contribute to a cleaner and greener future for all. 

Sustainability plans for Huntsman India keeping in view carbon neutrality, full circularity, and sustainable chemistry with respect to Horizon 2025 targets? 

Huntsman India is committed to achieving the ambitious goals outlined in Huntsman Corporation's Horizon 2025 sustainability strategy. This strategy sets targets for reducing the company's environmental footprint, promoting sustainable chemistry, and advancing the circular economy. 

With respect to carbon neutrality, Huntsman India has already made progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency through initiatives such as the installation of a solar facility at our manufacturing plant in Chakan, Pune. We will continue to pursue a variety of measures to reduce our carbon footprint, including the use of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient technologies, and process improvements. 

Huntsman India is also committed to advancing the circular economy by developing innovative products and processes that promote the use of recycled materials and reduce waste. We are actively exploring ways to incorporate circularity principles into our manufacturing processes and supply chain management practices, with a goal of achieving full circularity. 

Finally, we are committed to promoting sustainable chemistry by developing products that meet the highest standards of safety, performance, and environmental responsibility. Our Bio-based product line is just one example of our efforts to develop sustainable alternatives to traditional materials, and we will continue to invest in research and development to identify new opportunities for sustainable chemistry. 

CSR initiatives completed by Huntsman in FY 2022-23 and plans for FY 2023-24?

At Huntsman, we place equal importance on the safety of our employees and the health and wellbeing of the communities in which we work. Several initiatives have been carried out by our dedicated corporate social responsibility team across our locations which enables us to access the ultimate key: the licence to operate. These include a setting up of a high school near our plant in Chakan Pune, our primary health care facility supported the administration of over one lakh COVID-19 vaccines in and around Chakan, setting up a drinking water supply unit benefitting 5,000 villagers around Padra and also offering scholarships worth Rs. one lakh to deserving students in the Padra region of Gujarat.  

We are running medical mobile clinics which have covered 55,000 people from 18 villages in Chakan and over 25,000 people in Navi Mumbai. Our integrated rural development project Badlav has benefitted around 30,000 villagers across 10 villages both in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Under Anandi, our holistic education development programme, we have covered over 7,000 students. Lastly, our initiative to make rural Chakan an open defecation free region is going well. We have already covered two villages by building sanitation facilities in each house of the village thus benefiting over 300 people in the region.  

Huntsman India plans for FY 2023-24 with respect to Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials, and Performance Products?

We have an ambitious plan for 2023 that focuses on innovation and growth across all business segments, including Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials, and Performance Products. 

Polyurethanes: We have amended our manufacturing capability to produce a broader range of Polyurethane materials such as Footwear Polyester systems. We have invested in Chakan to locally manufacture PU and Polyurea Coatings. We are on the verge of commissioning a renewed Technology Development and Customer Experience Center in Pune. 

Advanced Materials: We continue to develop innovative products that meet the needs of its customers across a wide range of industries, including aerospace, electronics, and automotive. The company is exploring new applications for its cutting-edge Araldite adhesives and composites, which are known for their strength, durability, and reliability. 

Performance Products: We are expanding our portfolio of performance products focusing on sustainability, developing new products and processes that reduce waste, conserve resources, and promote circularity. 

Overall, Huntsman India's plan for 2023 reflects its commitment to innovation, growth, and sustainability across all business segments. The company is poised to build on its successes and continue to drive progress in the Indian market and beyond.