Saturday, December 17, 2011

India to produce Titanium Sponge

India's first Titanium Sponge Plant (TSP), which will enlist the country among the few world nations having the technology to produce titanium sponge, is all set for operation in Kollam district in south Indian state Kerala.

A trial run of the Rs 143 crore-plant would be held during the first week of February and a formal inauguration would be done by February 15 at Chavara near here, government sources said.

At present, only six countries in the world- the United State, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan- have the technology to produce titanium sponge, a raw material for the strategic metal titanium.

The Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory (DMRL), a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) had indigenously developed the technology for India.

According to the figures of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), India requires 350 tons of titanium sponge for the manufacturing of aircrafts spacecrafts. Other industries including biomedical and ship building also require another 400 tons of titanium sponge.

Though the material has been imported largely now, the state-agencies including ISRO are not sure about the quality of the product. It had forced the country to develop the technology its own and setting up a plant for its production, sources said.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce 500 tons of titanium sponge annually in the initial stage. The capacity will be increased to 1,000 tons in the near future, they said.

As part of the venture, a Tickle Purification Plant (TPP), a unit to purify titanium tetrachloride, was opened at the TSP campus two days back.

At present, KMML is the only producer of titanium tetrachloride, a critical raw material for titanium sponge, in the country. 

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