Tata Chemicals Ltd is a global company with interests in businesses that focus on LIFE - living, industrial and farming essentials. The company is the world's second-largest producer of soda ash. They have manufacturing facilities in India, UK, USA, the Netherlands and Kenya with global capacity of around 5.5 MTPA. They are also a leading player in the consumer products and crop nutrition and agribusiness segments.
The company is based in Mumbai with plant locations in Mithapur (Gujarat), Babrala (UP), Nanded (Maharashtra) and Haldia (West Bengal) in India; Northwich, Cheshire (United Kingdom), East Hanover, New Jersey (United States), Delfzijl (The Netherlands) and Magadi (Kenya). They are having the largest single soda ash production capacity plant in India. They operate in three sectors, namely living essentials (household products), industry essentials and farm essentials (crop nutrition and protection).
The company is India's leading Crop Nutrients Player with their own manufacturing of urea and phosphatic fertilisers and a leading player in crop protection business through their subsidiary company, Rallis India Ltd. Also, the company is the pioneer and India's market leader in the branded, iodised salt segment. The company is world's most geographically diversified company, with an efficient supply chain that can service customers across the globe.
Tata Chemicals Ltd was incorporated on January 23, 1939. In the year 1942, the company completed the bromine plant, the first unit of the company's chemical works. In the year 1943, they commissioned the auxiliary power plant. Also, they commenced the production of caustic soda, liquid chlorine, bleaching powder, hydrochloric acid and zinc chloride.
In February 1944, the company started the soda ash production. During the year, the company was given the rights to manufacture salt and marine minerals and to use limestone and other raw materials within the Kathiawad region. In the year 1949, they started the production of sodium bicarbonate. During the year 1952-53, they increased the Soda ash capacity from 50 to 100 tonnes per day. Also, they started production of technical grade benzene hexachloride (a pesticide) during the year 1955-56 starts so as to utilise surplus chlorine.
In the year 1957, the company in association with Fison Pest Control formed a joint venture company name Tata Fisons. They introduced Ethylene dibromide, a new product from bromine. Also, they started production of an insecticide, namely copper oxychloride. During the year 1957-58, they launched a major expansion programme to increase capacity of products. In the year 1959, they completed the first phase of expansion. During the year 1961-62, they started production of dense soda ash.
In the year 1964, the company completed their expansion programme and the soda ash capacity touched 400 tonnes per day. In the year 1971, they discontinued sale of chemicals through Tata Oil Mills (TOMCO) and starts selling on their own. In the year 1974, they set up Tata Energy Research Institute with an initial contribution of Rs 1 crore. During the year 1977-78, they started shipping division and also set up a wholly owned investment subsidiary, namely Roshan Investments Ltd.
During the year 1979-80, the company established Tata Chemicals Society for Rural Development to improve quality of life in Okhamandal villages. In the year 1983, they launched Tata Salt, India's first iodised, vacuum evaporated and branded salt. In the year 1992, they launched Tata Shudh' detergent. In the year 1993, the company started a new cement plant at Mithapur. In the year 1994, they commissioned the fertilizer plant at Babrala. In the year 1996, the company received ISO 9001 certification.
The production severely affected due to earthquake on January 2001 and the accidental fire in the power plant on March 2, 2001. During the year 2002, the company's Mithapur plant was awarded ISO-14001 certification and also the Chemicals Division at Mithapur was awarded the ISO-9001-2000 Migration certificate. In the year 2003, Tata Salt was ranked No. 1 Food brand in Brand Equity Survey of India's most trusted brands. The fertiliser plant got ISO-14001 and OHSAS-18001 certified.
In the year 2004, the company set up the Innovation Centre to develop world-class R&D capability in the emerging areas of nanotechnology and biotechnology. In the year 2005, the company acquired equal partnership in Indo Maroc Phosphore SA (IMACID) along with Chambal Fertilisers and global phosphate major, OCP of Morocco. In the year 2006, the company completed the acquisition of UK-based Brunner Mond Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of soda ash and associated alkaline products.
In January 2007, the company set up 50:50 joint venture in association with Total Produce, Ireland, the third largest fruits and vegetable distribution company in the world, namely Khet Se Agriproduce Pvt Ltd. This JV was formed with the objective of bridging the gap between producer and end consumer in fresh produce business, which will significantly increase efficiencies, improve shelf-life and reduce product loss in the supply chain.
During the year 2007-08, the company acquired General Chemical Industrial Products Inc, one of the large soda ash players in the US market, for a total consideration of USD 1005 million. As a part of the GCIP acquisition structure, they set up a 100% subsidiary in Mauritius, namely Wyoming 1 (Mauritius) Pvt Ltd. Also, they set up downstream subsidiaries, namely Wyoming 2 (Mauritius) Pvt Ltd, Gusuite Holding (UK) Ltd and Valley Holdings Inc. (US) were incorporated at Mauritius, UK and US respectively. They also set up a 100% subsidiary in Singapore, namely Tata Chemicals Asia Pacific Pvt Ltd.
During the year, the company undertook field research on Jatropha, a non-edible tree crop for biodiesel production. They set up a research farm in Aurangabad and started varietal trials for developing a package of practice. Also, they set up multi location trials for Jatropha in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh. The company acquired land on the outskirts of Pune for constructing a state-of-the-art dedicated R&D centre, which will become its central knowledge hub.
During the year 2008-09, the company through the wholly owned subsidiary Tata Chemicals Asia Pacific Pte Ltd entered into a joint venture agreement by investing SGD 15 million in JOil (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a Jatropha seeding company based in Singapore. The company holds 33.80% stake in JOil. In May 2008, the operations of Khet-Se began with the launch of its first state-of-the art procurement and distribution facility for fresh fruits and vegetables at Malerkotla, Punjab.
During the year 2009-10, the company set up a bio-ethanol test plant of 30 KLPD at Nanded, Maharashtra as a part of their Biofuel Research and Development Programme using non conventional raw materials. They launched a nanotech water purifier which uses natural materials and cutting edge nanotechnology under the brand name 'Tata Swach'. The product was initially launched in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
In November 2009, the company acquired 5,362,923 shares of Rallis India Ltd (Rallis). By virtue of such acquisition, the shareholding of the company in Rallis went up to 50.06% and thereby making Rallis as their subsidiary with effect from November 9, 2009.
During the year, the company launched their Alkakarb, branded bicarbonate in the Indian market, aimed at animal feed application. As the domestic market matures and grows, the company will introduce all the other brands in their portfolio in India produced in their state-of-the-art plant in the UK.
During the year, the company took steps to increase salt production at their Mithapur plant through de-bottlenecking to further boost the volumes available for sale. The company is setting up 1.32 Lakh MT capacity Customized Fertilizer plant at Babrala. In August 2010, the company signed a public-private partnership agreement with the Department of Science and Technology and Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute for setting up a 3 tonne per day sulphate of potash fertiliser plant in Gujarat as a joint research project.
During the year 2010-11, the company launched their Sodakarb, branded bicarbonate in the Indian market, aimed at food applications. They done the pilot launch of I- Shakti pulses in the states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. The pilot was aimed to integrate the strength of the company's presence in both farm and consumer facing ends of the business. As a part of their Biofuels Research and Development Programme using non conventional raw materials, the Company set-up a bio-ethanol test plant of 30 KLPD at Nanded, Maharashtra. The company now plans to set up a first generation bioethanol plant based on sugarcane only at Mozambique.
Druing the year, the company acquired South Africa's Grown Energy which controls 95% stake in Grown Energy Zambeze to build biofuels capabilities in Mozambique. In December 30, 2010, Rallis India Ltd, a subsidiary of the company, acquired 60.21% stake in Metahelix Life Science Ltd, a research led seeds company. This acquisition will firm up the company's presence in the entire Seeds Value Chain that comprises breeding, production and marketing of seeds.
In January 2011, the company, through their wholly owned overseas subsidiaries Tata Chemicals Europe Ltd, acquired 100% stake in British Salt held through Cheshire Salt Holdings Ltd. Also, they are rebranding global subsidiaries under Tata Chemicals corporate brand.