KOCHI: With an intention to primarily promote agro-processing, BPCL Kochi Refinery has introduced a specialty product of food grade quality hexane (FGQ Hexane), which could turn out to be a boon for the agricultural sector in South India.
At a function held here the other day, BPCL chairman and managing director D Rajkumar flagged off the first truck carrying FGQ hexane to its maiden customer AVT, in the presence of R Ramachandran, Director (Refineries).
This is the first time Kochi Refinery 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. The product is mainly used as solvent in the solvent extraction units for spices and vegetable oil.
This is also used by drug and pharmaceutical industry and also as solvent in other specialty applications.
Much of FGQ hexane used in the country is imported and therefore, this product would be helpful to the ‘Make in India’ initiatives.
FGQ hexane is being produced in the isomerization unit of Kochi Refinery as part of the Integrated Refinery Expansion Project. Kochi Refinery has now the capacity to produce 5,000 tonnes per year.
“This is a landmark in the history of Kochi Refinery since it is now manufacturing a product having ‘food grade quality.’
This will help the food processing industry and the farming community. Kochi Refinery had always tried to promote industries based on the farming sector of the South India.
“In the late 90s, Kochi Refinery had developed the Natural Rubber Modified Bitumen (NRMB) through its Research & Development Centre and had provided an alternative scope for rubber which is increasingly cultivated in South India.
“Thereafter, NRMB has been a prime product of Kochi Refinery which helped in laying better roads. Launching of FGQ hexane is a similar kind of effort,” said Prasad K Panicker, ED (Kochi Refinery).