Dow Chem eyes India’s anti-microbial market

Dow Chem eyes India’s anti-microbial market

Mumbai: Targeting the growing demand for high-end water treatment solutions in the domestic oil and gas exploration sector, the Dow Chemical Co. is setting up a dedicated microbial control formulations unit in Mumbai, Mark Henning, general manager of Dow Microbial Control, said in an interview last week.

“Microbial control in oil and gas refineries is one of the new market segments, (in) which we wanted to make a strong entry in India," he said. The size of the market the company is targeting is estimated at $25-30 million (Rs113-136 crore) annually, he added.

Henning was in India to participate in the international paint industry fair in Mumbai. India is among Dow Chemical’s important stand-alone markets and is expected to grow at 18-20% a year, he said.

Dow Chemical, the world’s second largest chemicals maker by sales, is setting up the new unit in collaboration with a local partner, whose identity Henning was unwilling to reveal. An announcement regarding this would be made soon, he said. The raw material or active ingredients for the plant in Mumbai will be supplied by Dow’s US facility.

Dow had last year signed an agreement with BioPetroClean, a scientific organization working on water treatment, to market the Dow BioPetroClean Water Treatment system to refinery and produced-water markets. The water treatment technology reduces many of the contaminants—including total petroleum hydrocarbons in oil-contaminated water using a customized bacteria and nutrient package for a specific application. This allows a waste-water treatment plant to increase its reliability while producing less sludge that would go to a landfill.

Another market Dow is looking at in India, according to Henning, is that of innovative solutions for the paint industry, including anti-fungal/microbial applications.

Dow, which is also present in the industrial chemicals market, had a revenue of $700 million in the year ended 31 December from India, or about 5% of global sales. Of this, the microbial business contributed Rs5 crore.

Dow employs around 1,000 people in India and has a couple of manufacturing sites dedicated to local needs. It also has research collaborations with premier institutions including the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune and the Indian Institutes of Technology.

Dow is also looking for acquisitions in India, said Henning. “There are ample number of acquisition targets in the large, medium and small range that would help our growth in the domestic market."