Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Industry in India

Posted By Team MCG On


Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a chemically inert white pigment used in a wide range of consumer products from paints, paper and toothpaste to plastics and cement. The key raw materials used in the production of TiO2 are ilmenite and rutile. India has reserves of ilmenite and rutile, accounting for 35% and 18% of the total world reserves respectively, largely found in coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Anatase and rutile are the two major types of TiO2 which are manufactured by the sulphate and chloride process, respectively.

In 2013-14, the production stood at around 53,000 tonnes with a capacity utilisation of 70%. Some of the concerns in the Indian TiO2 industry are the reduced production by manufacturers, strict environmental regulations, less exploration of reserves and the inadequate technology support.

The demand for titanium dioxide is growing at the rate of 8-10 % annually driven by the growth in the key end use segments. Paints segment is the leading end use segment accounting for 78% of the total usage of TiO2 in India. It is also used in other segments such as plastics, paper, rubber, printing inks, enamels, detergents, pharmaceuticals, electronics and many others.

Anatase grade of titanium dioxide is used in many segments such as paints, plastics, paper, textiles, detergents, printing inks and many others; while rutile grade is used in the paints, plastics and printing inks segments.

Titanium Dioxide Usage- Break up by End Use Segments 2013
Total: 150,000 tonnes

blog tio2

Source: MCG estimate
Others include textiles, rubber, printing inks, enamels, detergents, pharmaceuticals, electronics etc.

Around 70% of the domestic demand for TiO2 is met through import deliveries. China is the leading exporter of TiO2 to India. Exports are minimal; less than 5% of the ilmenite produced is converted into titanium dioxide while the remaining is exported. The lack of a supportive government policy coupled with other challenges such as lack of infrastructure and high cost of power are impacting the value addition of ilmenite in India.

The 4 key players in the Indian titanium dioxide industry are Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), Travancore Titanium Products Limited (TTPL), Kilburn Chemicals (VVTi Pigments Ltd.) and Kolmak Chemicals Ltd. KMML and TTPL are public sector companies while Kilburn and Kolmak are privately owned.