KMML to Substantially Hike Production of TiO2 Pigment


Kollam: Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd. (KMML), India’s only Rutile-grade Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) manufacturing facility (through Chloride route), is planning to increase production of TiO2 pigment by 50 per cent within two years. According to K K Roy Kurian, MD, KMML, preparation of detailed project report for the expansion of manufacturing facility is going on.

KMML, India’s only Rutile-grade Titanium Dioxide manufacturing facility, employs close to 1,600 persons directly and more than 3,000 indirectly

“Currently, KMML manufactures 40,000 tonnes of TiO2 pigment every year. The plan is to enhance production by 50 per cent to 60,000 tonnes within two years. Further, in another three years, the total production capacity would be enhanced to one lakh tonnes per year. The investment needed for the expansion work is estimated to be roughly Rs. 500 crore,” Roy Kurian told Destination Kerala.

Apart from TiO2, the product basket of KMML includes Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, Sillimanite and Synthetic Rutile. In the last financial year the annual turnover of KMML almost touched Rs. 800 crore and the company recorded a profit of Rs. 73 crore. Spread over 900 acres, KMML employs close to 1,600 persons directly and more than 3,000 indirectly.

A recipient of ‘Outstanding Chemical Engineer’ award instituted by Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers, Roy Kurian feels that KMML’s growth prospects are high as India now produces hardly one-third of TiO2 required for the market. “The demand for TiO2 in India is around three lakh tonnes per year. However, the total production of pigment by all manufacturers, including KMML is hardly 80,000 tonnes. We still import around 2.2 lakh tonnes from various countries, including China,” he said.

Branded as KEMOX, the various products of KMML go into the manufacturing of dress materials, cosmetics, tablets, newsprint, wood paints, emulsions, enamels, plastics and printing ink. KMML also hosts the Titanium Sponge Plant (TSP), a joint venture with Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL). Recently, KMML supplied 4.5 tonnes of titanium sponge for the Indian Navy. It was the first time that indigenously produced titanium sponge for strategic applications was purchased by a defence wing from KMML.

With the commissioning of the TSP in 2011, India joined an elite group of seven countries producing the strategic metal. It is estimated that the defence sector of the country requires about 1,500 tonnes of titanium sponge annually.
Kurian has more than 34 years of experience in production and manufacturing operations, plant operations and project management in various fertiliser, chemical, petrochemical, metallurgical, rayon and minerals industries.

Before joining KMML, Kurian was the President of Kesoram Rayon under Kesoram Industries Ltd. in Kolkata. He also had brief stints with Xindia Steels Ltd., Bengaluru; Goa Glass Fibre Ltd., Binani Group, Goa and Deepak Fertilizers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd., Pune. He was the whole-time director and CEO of Binani Industries Ltd., Kochi from 2006 to 2011.