Trials for production of sodium chlorate for the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) fuel propulsion system are under way at Travancore-Cochin Chemicals Limited, the Kochi-based State public sector unit engaged in chlor-alkali manufacture and marketing.

The sodium chlorate manufacturing plant situated on the premises of TCC at Udyogamandal here will be commissioned soon, according to top officials of the company.

Sodium chlorate is an important raw material for manufacture of ammonium perchlorate, used in the solid fuel propulsion system for space technology applications. The product will be utilised in the manufacture of ammonium perchlorate at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre’s (VSSC) Ammonium Perchlorate Experimental Plant at Aluva near here.

TCC had entered into a joint venture with VSSC for providing sodium chlorate for its plant. Accordingly, TCC is to provide 5 tonnes of sodium chlorate per day to the project at Aluva. The project, costing over Rs.23 crore, is fully funded by VSSC. TCC will meet the entire requirement of sodium chlorate for the VSSC plant at Aluva, TCC officials said.

VSSC’s plant requires uninterrupted supply of specified quality sodium chlorate for production of ammonium perchlorate, to be utilised in various vehicle launch projects of Indian Space Research Organisation. Sodium chlorate is produced from sodium chloride through electrolytic process at TCC. VSSC had decided to entrust the project to TCC based on the latter’s expertise in the field, officials said.

VSSC required adequate quantities of sodium chlorate of consistent quality, to be used in solid propellant operations, based on indigenous technology.

TCC is also planning to set up a captive power plant using petroleum coke (petcoke), to be derived from BPCL Kochi Refinery. Pet coke will be available in large quantities from the refinery which is on an expansion mode. The company will have to source its energy needs from renewable sources by 2018, as per Union government guidelines. But the guidelines will not be applicable for captive power projects being set up as co-generation project. The pet coke based power generation plant will generate steam which is at present being produced by use of furnace oil. It will effectively reduce costs. The local availability of pet coke will make it attractive on the logistics front too, TCC officials said.

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