Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Ltd is one of largest Indian fertilizer manufacturers. The company is engaged in the manufacture/ import and sale of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers, besides business interests in engineering, biotech and pharmaceuticals. They have seven manufacturing units spread across Tamil Nadu. Their subsidiaries include Orchard Microsystems Ltd, SPIC Petrochemicals Ltd, SPEL Semiconductor Ltd, Indo-Jordan Chemicals Company Ltd, Ind-Ital Chemicals Ltd and SPIC Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd, Mauritius.
The company operates in four divisions, namely fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, engineering & construction services and agri-business divisions. Their fertilisers division manufactures fertilisers and intermediates; the pharmaceuticals division manufactures penicillin-G and other formulations. The engineering division offers specialized and turnkey project-based solutions and agri-business includes tissue culture plants, hybrid seeds, bio-fertilisers etc. The pharmaceuticals division consists of four strategic sub-divisions, namely penicillin-G, APIs, finished dosage products and industrial enzymes.
Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Ltd was incorporated in the year 1969 at Chennai. In the year 1979, the company installed a pure Gas Hydrogen Recovery Unit to increase Ammonia Production. In the year 1983, they acquired two chemicals tankers, namely 'Spic Pearl' and 'Spic Emerald' for regular delivery of phosphoric acid from overseas supplies to their plants. During the year, they promoted Tamilnadu Petroproducts Ltd in the joint sector along with TIDCO, SPIC Electronics & Systems Ltd for manufacture of IC Chips and Manali Petrochemical Ltd for manufacture of Propylene Oxide Propylene Glycol & Polycol.
In February 1992, the company came out with a Zero bond rights issue to part-finance their project of gas, fertilisers, chemicals and drugs. During the year, they co-promoted National Aromatics and Petrochemicals, to manufacture value-added products and import substitutes. In the year 1995, the company signed an MoU with Gelman Sciences of USA for manufacturing membrane filters for industrial health care operations. In July 1995, their Penicillin-G plant at Cuddalore started their commercial production.
In the year 1996, the company with Israeli technical collaboration commissioned Floriculture EOU for Rose cut flowers. The Heavy Chemicals Division entered into an agreement with Chlorine Engineers Corporation, Japan for the supply of technical know-how and basic engineering for putting up Membrane Cell Conversion Project at their existing plant in Manali. During the year 1996-97, the pharmaceutical division commenced commercial production of several ethical formulations at its plant at Maraimalai Nagar.
In the year 1997, the company signed an agreement with M W Kellogg, UK for their USD 160 million fertiliser complex in Dubai through their wholly owned subsidiary company named SPIC Fertilisers and Chemicals FZE. In addition, they signed an agreement with Universal Investments, New Zealand for forming a joint venture company that would process foods and export them. During the year 1997-97, they increased the installed capacity of Caustic Soda to 82,500 MT and Liquid Chlorine to 50,000 MT.
In the year 1998, they diversified into hospitality sector and entered into a marketing tie-up with Radisson Hotels International Inc of USA. During the year 2000-2001, as a measure of consolidation, the company sold the Chlor Alkali division to Tamilnadu Petroproducts Ltd. In addition, they divested their stake in SPIC PHI Seeds Ltd. The company also launched Biodart enzyme formulations for textile and poultry feed. In the year 2002, the company sold their 49 per cent share in Caltex-Spic to their joint venture partner Caltex oil corporation. In September 2002, they commissioned 18.6 MW captive power plant.
During the year 2003-04, the company commissioned the facility for the manufacture of complex fertiliser. The Agro Biotech division commissioned a turnkey project for neem-based biopesticide plant in Malaysia. In addition, the division launched two new hybrids in corn and one new hybrid in sunflower. During the year, Spic Petrochemicals Ltd became a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. During the year 2004-05, the company increased the production capacity of Penicillin-G by 1000 tonnes to 2000 tonnes. The Engineering/ Construction Services Division completed two major projects and commissioned during the year.
During the year 2005-06, as per the scheme of amalgamation, the assets and liabilities of the erstwhile subsidiaries, SPIC Holdings and Investments Ltd, SPIC Biotechnologies Ltd and Mitocon Biotec Ltd were transferred to and vested in the Company with effect from March 31, 2006. SPEL Semiconductor Ltd, a subsidiary company incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary company, SPEL America Inc in USA to concentrate on marketing services for SPEL.
During the year 2007-08, the company increased the production capacity of Urea by 108,400 tonnes to 620,400 tonnes. They also increased the production capacity of aluminium fluoride by 7,440 tonnes to 10,000 tonnes. The Agri-business division launched new hybrids in tomato and okra for commercial marketing. EDAC Engineering Ltd (formerly known as SPIC JEL Engineering Construction Ltd) ceased to be a joint venture with effect from October 23, 2007, pursuant to the sale of investment by the joint venture partner.
The company proposes to add capacity and utilities at Cuddalore for a separate API plant for intermediates and Pen-G based APIs. This facility would add muscle to the API business at Maraimalai Nagar by taking up part production of APIs and intermediates to boost volumes of the business.
The company is having a plan for a Betalactam formulation facility at Pen-G unit, Cuddalore, to manufacture and market finished dosages of semi-synthetic Penicillins (SSPs) and Cephalosporins to tap the growing domestic market, besides niche export markets.
The company also proposes to add and enhance capacity, upgrade and modernize the R&D facility and the API Plant at Maraimalai Nagar to cater to the expanding market segment and faim for higher accreditations like current good manufacturing practice (cGMP), certificate of suitability (CoS) etc.