Deepak Phenolics Limited (DPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Deepak Nitrite has commenced commercial production of Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) which is considered an essential item in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

DPL has commenced production of IPA at its manufacturing facility located at Dahej with an installed capacity of 30,000 TPA. The plant will make IPA from Acetone that it manufactures in the same facility thus mitigating the supply side risks.

IPA is an important input and is widely used in alcohol wipes, swabs, hand sanitizers, disinfectants and oral mouthwash. IPA is also used in surface coatings, inks, pesticides & herbicides formulations, resins production, disinfectants and cleaning products. The chemical is also used in acrylic emulsions and resins to create various textures.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for IPA both in India as well as in global market. As per market research, the forecast for global demand of IPA will reach 522,000 TPA during 2020-2024 and half of this growth will come from APAC.

As per sources, India’s total demand for IPA is to the tune of 200,000 TPA as there is large IPA demand for sanitizers and this has more than doubled.

Deepak Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director said, “We are committed to a safe and quick ramp-up in capacity utilization. As a concerned citizen and in keeping with the nation’s goal of self-reliance, both Deepak Nitrite and Deepak Fertilizers can meet the demand collectively.”

“I must add that the central ministry has been proactive and supportive, the Industry commissioner followed up on progress of the pre-commissioning activity and helped in giving necessary support for timely commissioning of the plant,” added Mehta.

IPA faces competition from Ethanol. Ethanol is being pushed as an alternative with sugar mills and distilleries to make sanitizers. However, IPA has certain advantages over ethanol for hand sanitizer use and is globally a preferred ingredient for hand sanitizer as it has proven anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-infectant properties and it does not dehydrate and is therefore soft on the skin.

Talking about the demand for IPA post COVID-19, Mehta said, “We are confident that more and more pharmaceutical products will be made in India, owing to seamless supply of IPA.”