Navin Fluorine International Limited: Building and Operating Chemical Plants in Most Safe and Environment-friendly Manner

 

Fluorochemicals generate a lot of demand from the pharmaceutical industry owing to its non-flammable properties. Various innovative applications driven by technological advancements are stimulating the demand for fluoropolymers. The Indian fluorochemical market is closely linked with the developments of the country’s automobile, air conditioning and refrigeration, construction, cold storage, pharmaceutical and agrochemical segments. Among which the pharmaceutical segment emerged as one of the key drivers of the industry.

Navin Fluorine International Limited (NFIL) is one of the most competitive research-driven fluorine chemistry companies in the world. It has been working with large multinational customers in researching, developing and manufacturing cutting-edge products. NFIL belongs to The Padmanabh Mafatlal Group, with a legacy of business operations since 1967, having one of the largest integrated fluorochemicals complexes in India. It has manufacturing locations at Surat – in Western India and Dewas in Central India. It has a state-of-the-art Research & Development center named as Navin Research Innovation Center (NRIC) located at Surat, India. It also has a 100% subsidiary Manchester Organics Ltd., a specialized chemical research Company in Runcorn, UK and a joint venture Convergence Chemicals Ltd., with Piramal Enterprise Ltd., at Dahej, for manufacture and sale of specialty fluorochemicals.

It is among the few companies in fluorination chemistry with the experience, capability and expertise in scale up from research to pilot and manufacturing. The NRIC collaborates with customers with the objective of developing new products, processes and technologies in the most cost effective and environmentally compliant manner.

Vishad Mafatlal, Chairman of NFIL places high value to corporate ethics and social responsibility. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School and has a rich experience of more than two decades in the field of Textiles and Chemicals industries. “Ethics is a reflection of our commitment to do business the right way,” asserts Vishad Mafatlal.

He underscores the importance of trust as the core of the model around which NFIL was created, managed and grown. His philosophy has been, transparency, consistency and teamwork, which he believes leads to outperformance. His endeavor has been to grow with the society and the environment. Keeping a sense of balance between creating and sharing, among the stakeholders he believes that Company culture, Diversity, Philanthropy, keeping a healthy work place environment are all traits of a socially responsible company.

Services under NFIL

NFIL offers refrigerants under its brand name Mafron, which over the years, has become a generic name for refrigerants in India and in many other global markets. Mafron is the preferred choice of leading OEMs, service technicians and equipment owners. The company has more than 120 distributors in India and across the globe. NFIL has an enriching experience in manufacturing various inorganic fluorides with capacity, flexibility and experienced work force. It also provides specialty chemicals business that is engaged in manufacturing niche fluorine-based molecules for downstream use in the pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and chemicals industries. NFIL is also in the business of offering Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS) for custom chemical syntheses of fluorinated compounds for the pharmaceuticals, agro chemicals and specialty chemicals industries. Its offering and capabilities include basic research, library syntheses, process development, scale up and small and large batch manufacturing.

NFIL is equally aware of its responsibilities towards environment, which is demonstrated from the fact that all the plants are complainant with the environmental norms and the company continues to make sizable investments in Health and Safety Environment.

Journey that Started Decades Back

Back in the days in 1967, NFIL established first Integrated Fluorochemicals Complex in South East Asia (excluding Japan) to produce HF, refrigerant gases and a range of inorganic fluorides at Surat which commenced the commercial production in 1969.

In 1978, NFIL set up its first facility at Dewas to produce Alkylated Anilines and Toluidine followed by capacity expansion at Surat for Smelter Fluorides and Aluminium Fluoride (AIF3) in 1982. In early 90s, it had commissioned refrigerant gas plant for chlorofluorocarbon – CFC113 at Surat. Towards the end of 90s,  it diversified into Organic and Inorganic Specialty Fluoride production and commenced a manufacturing facility at Surat.

In the succeeding years, NFIL got listed in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in 2003 and National Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2007. In 2008, it set up the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) plant as part of the emission reduction project as defined under the Kyoto Protocol. In the same year, the Research & Development Centre at Surat – Navin Research Innovation Centre was inaugurated followed by the Multi Purpose Plant and the CRO facility in 2009.

The year 2011 was an eventful year, wherein NFIL strengthened its CRAMS business with acquisition of Manchester Organics Limited in UK and commissioned its 1st cGMP pilot plant at Dewas. The 2nd cGMP facility came up in 2015.

In 2016, it entered into an agreement with Honeywell, a U.S. chemical major to manufacture next generation refrigerant gas HFO-1234yf which is for automobile cooling solution. NFIL have commissioned a small-scale manufacturing plant to manufacture HFO-1234yf at our Surat facility.

Being one of the most competitive research-driven fluorine chemistry companies in the world, it is working with large multinational customers in researching, developing and manufacturing cutting-edge products. In early 2017, it had completed the product validation and started the commercial supplies from the Greenfield facility at Dahej set-up as part of the joint venture with Piramal Enterprises Ltd.

Awards and Accolades

  • Responsible Care’ certification awarded by Indian Chemical Council for another period of three years starting 2017-18
  • Company has been declared a winner in the Chemical Industry Category-II “Excellence in Management of Health and Safety” by Indian Chemical Council, exemplifying the Company’s commitment towards HSE
  • NFIL has won the “Best Standout Investor Relations” Award in Mid Cap segment in the I.R. Awards 2017 hosted by Investors Relation Society of India, BSE, Bloomberg & KPMG
  • NFIL was conferred with “ICC Award for Excellence in Human Resource Management in Chemical Industry” for 2017
  • NFIL was conferred with “ICC Certificate Of Merit for Best Compliant Company for Distribution Code under Responsible Care” for 2017

Progressing towards Perfection

In the CRAMS business, NFIL is working on multiple molecules at various stages of development and is progressing well. It is hopeful that over the period of time the molecules will move towards commercial manufacturing. The organization will evaluate the opportunity based on the potential of the product and accordingly take the decision for investing in further expansion.

In specialty chemical, NFIL is moving towards Pharmaceutical products as it gives long-term visibility in revenue and has higher number of customers as compared to agrochemical business. The expertise and the knowhow of the chemistry helps in  gaining larger  market share. It has introduced new products in the last few years which has gained acceptance from the customers and NFIL expects further increase in volume from these products. The R & D facility is continuously functioning on development of novel fluoro specialty molecules and working closely with the technical services and manufacturing teams to scale up the laboratory based knowledge for commercial production.

Source :-The 10 Most Admired Chemical Manufacturing Companies in 2018