Press releases


Tata Chemicals signs a binding agreement with JOil (Singapore) Pte Ltd

Initiative undertaken to boost company’s bio-fuels foray

Tata Chemicals' wholly owned subsidiary, Tata Chemicals Asia Pacific Pte, has entered into definitive agreements to invest US$25 million in JOil (Singapore) Pte . JOil, a Jatropha seedling company based in Singapore, has been set up by the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), along with other investors in Singapore. 

Speaking on this development, Homi Khusrokhan, managing director, Tata Chemicals, said, ”Jatropha has been identified as an ideal starting material for biodiesel production for countries like India, because it can be grown on wasteland. However, the non-availability of good quality planting material has resulted in highly variable yields from the cultivation carried out so far. Through this JV, we would like to access some of the excellent work done by Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory on this plant and make the superior varieties of Jatropha available to those interested in its cultivation. It also holds great promise for our own bio-fuels programme.”

PK Ghose, executive vice president and CFO, Tata Chemicals, who executed the agreements on behalf of Tata Chemicals Asia Pacific Pte said, “We are delighted to partner in a venture which could in future have a significant benefit for the production of bio-diesel from Jatropha both in terms of yield and costs.”

Peter Chia, COO TLL and director of JOil (S) Pte said, “We are very pleased to be partners with Tata Chemicals in this venture and are confident that this partnership will create sustainable and competitive technological solutions for the biofuel industry.”

By virtue of this agreement, Tata Chemicals will get exclusive marketing rights for JOil’s Jatropha seedlings in India and East Africa and a preferential price for seedlings it requires for its own cultivation of Jatropha.

JOil will set up tissue culture labs in various locations, and market Jatropha seedlings produced by using the micro-propagation technology developed by TLL. TLL has done considerable amount of original work on developing superior elite varieties of Jatropha, which becomes productive sooner than other known varieties and gives improved and more consistent yields.

This plant, which grows on semi-arid wasteland, is seen today as an appropriate starting material for the manufacture of bio-diesel for countries like India, with scarce land resources.

About Tata Chemicals Limited
Established in 1939 at Mithapur, and part of the US$ 62.5 B Tata Group, Tata Chemicals Limited (TCL) today is the second largest producer of Soda Ash in the world with manufacturing facilities across four continents. TCL is the pioneer and market leader in the branded, iodised salt segment. TCL is also India’s leading manufacturers of urea and phosphatic fertilisers. Its urea plant at Babrala is the country’s most energy efficient fertiliser unit in the country. Phosphatic fertilisers are manufactured at its plant in Haldia.

The acquisition of an equal partnership in Indo Maroc Phosphore SA. (IMACID) along with Chambal Fertilisers and the global phosphate major, OCP of Morocco in the year 2005 was the first step that TCL took towards internationalisation. In early 2006, TCL completed the acquisition of the UK based Brunner Mond Group (BM). In 2007, TCL entered in to a 50:50 joint venture with Total Produce, Ireland, the third largest fruits and vegetable distribution company in the world and Europe’s largest and most accomplished fresh produce provider, to set up a fruits and vegetables distribution business in India. TCL also plans to leverage its expertise in chemistry and agriculture, together with its in-house research capabilities in biology and crop genomics to develop a significant presence in the bio fuels space. The TCL Innovation Centre was created in mid 2004 to develop world-class R&D capability in the emerging areas of nanotechnology and biotechnology.

In early 2008, TCL successfully completed the acquisition of General Chemical Industrial Products, (GCIP). General Chemical's subsidiary, General Chemical (Soda Ash) Partners (GCSAP), is one of the largest Soda Ash producers in the USA with a capacity of 2.5 million TPA of natural Soda Ash. The Company’s mining and manufacturing facilities located at Green River Basin in Wyoming, USA, are assets of a very high quality, providing access to some of the world’s largest and most economically recoverable trona ore deposits that are then converted to Soda Ash. The acquisition of GCIP takes TCL’s global Soda Ash capacity to around 5.5 million tonnes per annum.

About Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL)
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) was established in August 2002 by the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Temasek Holdings to undertake cutting edge research in molecular biology and genetics in the broad field of life sciences. In addition, TLL has training programs for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, as well as students from the universities and junior colleges.