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HPL holds out job hope

Calcutta, Dec. 24: The downstream units of Haldia Petrochemicals (HPL) may create 28,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2008.

Swapan Bhowmik, managing director of the company, said 42 new units were expected to come up in Bengal, entailing an investment of Rs 108 crore. Besides, many of the existing 497 units are expanding.

“While the new ones will employ a large number of people, existing units too will hire more,” Bhowmik said.

The HPL managing director was speaking on the sidelines of a press meet to announce Chemcon 2007, the annual event of the Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers that will be inaugurated by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in Calcutta on Thursday.

According to data presented by HPL officials, between 1998-99 and last month, the downstream industry has created nearly 50,000 direct jobs. It has also generated 89,900 indirect jobs during the same period. Total employment generated by HPL and its downstream units, directly and indirectly, is 141,800.

According to Bhowmik, the proposed chemical hub at nearby Nayachar will open up further employment opportunities.

HPL is also exploring possibilities of participating in the proposed chemical hub.

“We are looking at developing downstream chemical items. The idea is to make high margin products without expanding the naphtha cracker capacity more than what we are already doing,” Bhowmik added.

The Telegraph reported today that HPL was exploring the possibility to make high margin products such as butene-1 and styrene, which could find use in Nayachar.

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