Promoted by the Kadakia family, Ashok Alo-Chem forms part of the Ashok Organics group. It acquired a distillery to manufacture industrial alcohol, and an acetic acid plant, set up by Ashok Organic Industries, the flagship of the group, for the specific purpose of handing it over to the company on 1 Apr.'93.
Its entire production of industrial alcohol is used captively to manufacture alcohol-based chemicals, including acetic acid. Acetic acid, known as a universal solvent, finds application in a variety of industries such as textiles, food processing, dyes, plastics, paper, bulk drugs and pharmaceuticals. Ashok Alo-Chem's reputed customers include Colour-Chem (India), Indian Dyestuff, Reliance Industries, E Merck and Vinyl Chemicals.
In 1994-95, the company commissioned a bio-gas effluent treatment plant to produce methane gas in technical collaboration with Aqua Technos, Bangkok, and modernised its distillery. The modernisation involved a change from the batch-processing to the continuous fermentation process which enhanced the yield per tonne of molasses by 20%. The projects were financed partly by a public issue in May '94.
The capacities of both units have been increased by 50%; the distillery to 1 cr ltr and acetic acid to 9000 tpa. Ashok Alo-Chem now plans to further expand the capacity of acetic acid by 5000 tpa, produce extra-neutral alcohol (ENA) at the distillery and set up a plant to manufacture down-stream products from acetic acid. It proposes to set up a plant to manufacture high-value-addition dye-intermediates.
Company's expansion Acetic Acid Unit & Ester Unit has been sucessfully commissioned in March'99. Demand for acetic acid and ester at home and abroad is expected to be stable & company is hopeful about performance of 1999-2000 will give better results.
During the year 2000-01, capacity utilisation of acetic acid plant cound be marginally augmented to 64% . Realisations during the year also remained better than those of the previous year.
However, the realisation from the downstream products have not been commensurate with the prices of acetic acid.
The company is hopeful to revert back to the profitable operations during the next financial year.