Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd is the single largest producer of Caustic Soda in India. The company is a multi-product company manufacturing 26 products. The company manufactures sodium cyanide, sodium ferrocyanide, chloromethanes, hydrochloric acid, caustic potash, potassium carbonate, phosphoric acid (85%) and hydrogen peroxide. The company has two units located at Vadodara (Baroda) and Dahej, both in the State of Gujarat.
The company is associated with various industries viz. Textiles, Pulp & Paper, Soaps & Detergents, Alumina, Water Treatment, Petroleum, Fertilizers Pharmaceuticals, Agrochemicals, Dyes & Dyes Intermediates, etc through their products. Also, they made their felt across the globe even against stiff competition by exporting products to USA, Europe, Australia, Africa, Far & Middle East Countries, China and South Asian Markets.
Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd was incorporated in the year 1973 in Gujarat and was promoted by Gujarat Industrial Investment Corporation Ltd, a wholly owned company of Govt. of Gujarat, as a core promoter. The company commenced their operations in the year 1976, with 37,425 MTPA capacity of caustic soda at their plant in Vadodara.
In October 1981, the first stage expansion of the caustic soda plant raising the capacity to 70,425 MTPA was undertaken, and in December 1982, a diversification programme to produce 2000 MTPA of Sodium Cyanide. In the year 1984, the second stage expansion to increase the capacity of caustic soda plant to 103,425 MTPA was undertaken. Also, the company undertook the diversification project for the manufacture of 10,560 MTPA of chloromethanes using chlorine, a co-product of the company.
In March 1994, the conversion of second mercury cell to membrane cell was carried out, thereby eliminating the total use of mercury from the complex for the production of caustic soda. In order to add further value to their products, the company set up a manufacturing facility for production of 11000 MTA Hydrogen Peroxide at Vadodara in the year 1996 to utilize hydrogen gas, which is a co-product from caustic soda process.
In the year 1995, as a part of diversification programme and to meet the growing demand of its products in the State of Gujarat and nearby areas, the company set up a plant for manufacturing technical grade phosphoric acid with capacity of 26400 MTA at Dahej. In the year 1998, the company set up membrane cell based caustic-chlorine unit with a capacity of 100000 MTA at Dahej. Also, a captive 90 MW co-generation power plant was set up so as to ensure uninterrupted and low cost power for their captive operations.
In the year 2000, the company commissioned caustic potash plant at Vadodara and in the year 2001, they increased the production capacity of hydrogen peroxide to 12540 MTA. During the financial year 2003-04, the company added a new product, namely anhydrous aluminium chloride in their product list. In September 2004, the company commissioned calcium chloride plant at Dahej.
During the year 2004-05, the installation of 100TPD caustic soda flaking unit was completed and it commenced commercial production in April 2005. Also, the company set up 240TPD caustic evaporation facility during the year, which has commenced their commercial operation in May 2005.
During the year 2006-07, the company completed the expansion of their caustic soda plant at Dahej by 200 TPD and commenced their production from June 26, 2006. Also, the company completed and commissioned two units of poly aluminium chloride, one at Baroda and another at Dahej.
During the year 2007-08, the company successfully commissioned their 12540 Tpa hydrogen peroxide plant at Dahej in which the commercial production started in July 2007. The company successfully commissioned 50 TPD anhydrous aluminium chloride plant to create a captive consumption of chlorine at Dahej in which commercial production started in March 2008.
During the year, the company commissioned additional 100 TPD caustic soda flaking plant at Dahej and commercial production started in January 2008. Also, they set up 23.75 MW wind energy farm in Kutch during the year.
In April 2008, the company signed a joint venture agreement with DOW Europe GmbH for setting up a 2,00,000 TPA chloromethanes plant at Dahej at an cost of Rs 600 crore. In July 1, 2008, a joint venture company, namely Dow-GACL SolVenture Ltd was incorporated, which is expected to start their manufacturing operations by 2011.
In January 2009, the company signed a MoU for setting up a joint venture company with Gujarat State Fertilisers & Chemicals Ltd and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers Company Ltd for manufacturing fine chemicals such as Phenol, Bisphenol, Polycarbonate, Butyl Rubber, Nitrile Butadiene Rubber, PBR, ABS, SBR, EDC and PVC at Dahej, in Gujarat. Also they singed a MoU with Gujarat State Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd, Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilisers Co Ltd and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation for setting up a chemical park for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be formed jointly by those companies.
The company has the plan to commission the projects, namely Sulphate Removal System, additional 100 TPD Flaker Unit, and additional 39 MW Wind Power Project in Kutch during the financial year 2008-09. The company is having a plan to expand caustic soda plant at Dahej by 50 TPD through Debottlenecking. Also, some of the projects, namely 90 MW captive power project, 600 TPD caustic soda project, hydrazine project, hydrogen peroxide, polyols project are under implementation.