Friday, March 22, 2019


BPCL Kochi Refinery launches FGQ hexane; Boon for agri in South India
Saturday, 03 November, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
With an intention to primarily promote agro-processing, BPCL Kochi Refinery (KR) has launched the specialty product of food-grade quality hexane (FGQ hexane), which could turn out to be a boon to the agricultural sector of Southern India. This is the first time that KR is producing a food-grade quality product.

FGQ hexane is a light distillate produced from special cut naphtha, where the hexane-rich stream is extracted and purified to meet the required specification. This product is mainly used as a solvent in the solvent extraction units for spices and vegetable oil. This is also used by the drug and pharmaceutical industries and also as a solvent in other specialty applications. Much of the FGQ hexane used in the country is imported, and therefore, this would be helpful to the Make in India initiative.

The new product was launched at a function at KR, at which D Rajkumar, chairman and managing director, BPCL, flagged off the first truck carrying FG Hexane to the first customer, Pasat Petrochemicals, in the presence of R Ramachandran, director (refineries) and BPCL executive directors (EDs) N Vijayagopal, ED (corporate accounts), Prasad K Panicker, ED (KR), Sharat Sharma, ED (industrial and commercial), P S Ramachandran, ED (projects), and Jayesh Shah, ED (human resources).

FGQ Hexane is being produced in the isomerisation unit of KR which came up as a part of the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project (IREP). KR has now the capacity to produce 5,000 tonne per year.

In BPCL KR’s product portfolio, FGQ Hexane is 21st in line.

“This is a landmark in the history of KR, since it is now producing a product having food grade quality. This would help the food processing industry and the farming community. KR had always tried to promote industries based on the farming sector of Southern India,” said Panicker.

“In the late 1990s, KR had developed natural rubber modified bitumen (NRMB) through its research and development centre and had provided an alternative scope for rubber which is increasingly cultivated in Southern India. Thereafter, NRMB has been a prime product of KR, which helped in laying better roads. The launching of FG Hexane is a similar kind of effort,” he added.
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