83rd Year | 2021-22 | Integrated Annual Report
We are a leading manufacturer of Sodium Chemistry products that serve diverse industrial customers. We strive to offer high quality differentiated products and services customised for our customers. We have a global distribution network that ensures reliable supply and seamless connectivity.
Our Basic Chemistry Products business comprises inorganic chemistry portfolio. We are the third largest producer of Soda Ash and sixth largest producer of Bicarbonate globally. We have four state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across four continents that provide us global customer access. We are global leaders in the segment, standing tall on the pillars of customer centricity, operational excellence, and sustainability. We achieve this through a lean and competitive cost structure, sharp customer focus, efficient global supply chain network and strong business ethics. Our differentiated, value-added portfolio and strong relationships with customers makes us a partner of choice.
Our basic chemistry solutions are essential input products that serve as a key resource in varied industries. Key products and their end-use applications are as follows:
End-user segments and applications
Float Glass (construction and housing, automobile, silicates), Container Glass (soft drinks, spirits, pharmaceuticals, tableware, glass), Detergent, Sodium Silicates, Sodium Bicarbonate, Textiles, Tanneries, Dyes and intermediaries, Other chemicals
Light Soda Ash, Dense Soda Ash, Granplus
Flue gas treatment, Food grade, Animal and poultry feed, Pharma (US/British/Indian Pharmacopoeia), Explosion suppressant, Haemodialysis, Dyes and intermediates, Textiles
Pharmakarb, Medikarb, Sodakarb, Alkakarb, Hemokarb, Briskarb, Speckarb
Household consumption, Food processing, Industrial salt, De-icing, Dairy products, Water softening, Industrial applications
Glacia, Granulite (British Salt), Magadi Moore, Nyama, Edible Salt
Agro-chemicals, Pharma intermediaries, Fire retardants, Textile processing
Liquid Bromine, Caustic Soda, Chlorine
Soda Ash, Sodium Bicarbonate, Salt
Soda Ash, Crushed Refined Soda
Logistics (through partners)
Sea, Rail, Road
Distribution (through partners)
Direct 73% and Channel Partners 27% Salt (India) 100% Tata Consumer Products
Global Detergents, Glass Brands, Food, Animal Feed, Pharma and Chemical
FY 2021-22 was marked by strong demand rebound across segments despite a severe second wave of COVID-19, followed by a
India operations remained agile, running plants at higher utilisation rates and reaching out to customers, thereby growing sales
of Soda Ash, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cement, Salt and Caustic. The supply chain was consolidated through increasing container
rakes, which served as flexible warehouses, ensuring product availability. We faced the challenge of input cost pressure due to
firm energy and coal prices, increased freight rates and higher solar salt costs (as the extended monsoon and cyclone in May 2021
impacted raw salt production). However, increasing global prices of Soda Ash and Sodium Bicarbonate enabled better realisation
in domestic markets and more efficient cost absorption.
US operations recovered from the pandemic in the earlier part of FY
2021-22 and delivered a record Trona and Soda Ash production through improvement initiatives undertaken during the
downturn. It remained responsive and successfully met the strong customer demand.
The UK operations ensured sustained production rates through FY 2021-22, along with maintaining a good sales run rate,
especially in the second half of the year. Business operations were impacted by high input costs, primarily energy and variable
costs; this was balanced by a rise in demand and product pricing. There were also a number of challenges around the
introduction of the UK’s Emissions Trading Scheme (UKETS), but things are now stabilised after several interventions.
Kenya operations delivered a good performance despite supply chain constraints.
US operations undertook refinancing /
repricing of its US$375 million long-term debt; and Kenya operations made partial loan pay-off amounting to US$10 million in
March 2022. This will help the respective businesses to become more efficient in terms of lower interest costs.
The UK operations successfully commissioned its 40,000-tonne Carbon Capture and Utilisation plant (CCU) for capturing and
purifying carbon dioxide emitted from operations, and reusing it in high-grade Sodium Bicarbonate production.
Kenya operations has a strong focus on utilising solar energy to reduce energy costs and optimise greening. It has initiated a
project to produce 24 KT of Pure Ash Magadi (PAM) through solar power.
Enhance manufacturing capacity of key products by expediting
ongoing capacity expansion projects and by initiating new capex
Fulfil sustainability commitment by enhancing efforts on safety,
process safety and risk management and sustainable operations
as well as following SBTi roadmap for low emission manufacturing.
Strengthen product portfolio by intensifying R&D around
the development of new products, new applications, and
process improvements. Strong focus is on green products and
on enhancing value-added Sodium Bicarbonate portfolio to
consolidate our market leadership. Collaborative initiatives with
customers are being undertaken for innovations.
Strive for technology excellence by increasing the use of
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), data
analytics and technology to improve manufacturing practices and
Deepen and widen customer relations by serving growth
opportunities in solar, glass, and lithium carbonate for energy capture,
storage and delivery. We are also developing deeper customer connect
through our own sales network of international distribution partners
for Soda Ash in focus markets following the planned exit from the
American Natural Soda Ash Corporation (ANSAC) tie-up in January
2023. Further, we are maximising efforts towards safe, efficient Trona
and Soda Ash production to satisfy customer demand.
Enhance people capabilities by implementing training and career
development programmes to deliver the next generation of leaders.
Augment sustainability commitment by enhancing waste soda
ash recovery to support production and reduce environmental load,
and by investing in environmental improvement projects for long-term
Leverage our strong financial profile with high cashflow
generation to meet business opportunities as demand outpaces
supply with limited new capacities coming onstream.
Build on industry-lowest carbon footprint and continuous
improvement efficiency projects in the Soda Ash and Sodium
Bicarbonate spaces. Also, continue to provide electricity
generation capacity and black-start capability to ensure stability
and decarbonise the UK National Grid.
Strengthen go-to-market capabilities by continuing major
investments on the back of a recently completed new power
station, reducing emissions by 12% and the Carbon Capture and
Utilisation (CCU) plant; the next step is a major investment in a
pharmaceutical salt plant, which will enhance the development of
strong exports into high grade, high-end applications.
Strong focus on profitability and cash flows by: (i) repaying
bank loan to strengthen capital structure; and (ii) switching to
solar-powered electric calcination and procuring new dredge to
enhance Trona availability, in order to drive operational efficiency.
Enhancing sustainability by operationalising the solar Pure Ash
Magadi (PAM) project.
In FY 2021-22, the markets were highly volatile due to
global supply chain disruptions and pandemic-related
challenges; this made demand patterns unpredictable.
We enhanced our agility and flexibility in order fulfilment,
to meet and surpass customer expectations and increase
India operations in collaboration with TCI-CONCOR
overcame the challenges by introducing flexible
warehouses – these were container rakes used for
the storage of materials near customer locations. This
eliminated the need for brick-and-mortar warehouses.
This expedited material movement, significantly improved
customer service and most importantly, helped capture
of 90 containers each delivered in FY 2021-22
Delivery response time to customers around the Inland
Container Depots (ICDs) through use of flexible warehouses
Services by combining the advantages of different
transport modes, resulting in customer delight
Waste minimisation is a key component of the long-term sustainability programme at USA. In FY 2021-22,
we went beyond reducing waste, and used the waste
from our operations to create new value. We applied our
understanding of science to recover the valuable resource
of Sodium (from original process waste), which finds
application in the production of Soda Ash. For this, we
initiated mechanical harvesting of dry waste material from
the disposal ponds, which are subsequently introduced
into surface operation as a liquid for further processing to
recover Sodium. This method of Sodium sourcing saves
cost and ensures availability.
The UK operations successfully commissioned its Carbon Capture & Utilisation plant (CCU) in August 2021. The plant captures CO2
emitted from the gas-fired combined heat and power plant (CHP) at Winnington, Northwich, United Kingdom. The CO2 is then
purified to European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) Food and Beverages Grade standards for usage in the manufacture of
high-purity, API-grade net-zero Sodium Bicarbonate.
This plant has demonstrated a proven capacity to reduce CHP’s CO2 emissions by 40,000 tonnes per annum (~11% of its total
emissions), having already achieved nearly 15 kilotonnes reduction in FY 2021-22. It has significantly benefited the Sodium
Bicarbonate business in terms of CO2 cost advantages and supply security, specifically in the current high-priced and
volatile CO2 market.
The project has surpassed its original investment purpose, yielding significantly higher benefits as the greater savings in CO2 mean
lower carbon tax and UKETS (UK Emissions Trading Scheme) pricing.
Lower carbon emissions by
40,000 tonnes per annum
120,000 tonnes of high-purity, net-zero
Sodium Bicarbonate production
Group of Cormorant with Pelican at Wetland, Mithapur
Picture Credit: Chirag R. Parmar