Inox Air Products, India’s leader in industrial and medical gases, is now venturing into green ammonia production. With the signing of an MoU with the Maharashtra government for a $3 billion plant, Inox strengthens its frontrunner status in clean energy.
Today’s article will explore the evolution, competitive strengths, and financial solidity of this high-performing joint venture to understand IAPL’s future growth prospects. Read on for an in-depth analysis.
INOX Air Products to develop Maharashtra’s first green ammonia plant
INOX Air Products recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra government to develop a green ammonia factory. It was one of INOX Air Products’ new projects, like INOXAP and Tata Steel’s debut partnership for developing 2 air separation units in Odisha.
At an estimated cost of $3 billion, the green ammonia plant will have the most extensive green ammonia production in the state, at 500,000 MTPA (million tonnes per annum).
Inox Air Products is a frontrunner in industrial and medical gas manufacturing industries, operating 45 locations. In a news release, the corporation said they are targeting a commissioning date of three to five years for the project.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the state-established Maharashtra pavilion, which promoted Maharashtra as an industrial destination, witnessed the signing of the MoU.
The plant’s output of liquid ammonia might serve as a hydrogen carrier without negatively impacting the environment. To significantly lower carbon emissions, the future plant is expected to play an integral part in the worldwide value chain for environmentally friendly and adaptable green hydrogen.
Those who attended were Harshdeep Kamble, Principal Secretary of Industries and Mining; Siddharth Jain, Promoter and Director of INOX Group; Uday Samant, Chief Minister of Maharashtra; and others.
INOX Air Products’ competitors
The following are the competitors of INOX Air Products, ranked by market capitalisation:
- Pidilite Industries Ltd ( ₹138,133 cr.)
- SRF Ltd ( ₹68,087 cr.)
- Linde India Ltd ( ₹46,534 cr.)
Evolution of INOX Air Products Pvt. Ltd.
In 1963, INOX Air Products owner Devendra Kumar Jain founded the Industrial Oxygen Company Private Limited in Maharashtra. The company intended to take advantage of the fast industrialisation unfolding in the country.
As a result of a 1999 joint venture with Air Products & Chemicals Inc., USA, the business became known as INOX Air Products. To this day, the alliance is still going strong, making it one of the most extended Indo-American collaborations in industrial history.
Strengths and risks of INOX Air Products
- Market position and an array of income sources
Geographically and customer-wise, INOX Air Products’ income is diverse. The company manages three segments of the industrial gas market: onsite structures, sales to merchant consumers, and packaged sales to end users.
The steel and metal sector accounts for most of the company’s revenue, with the rest coming from other industries such as medical care, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and the automotive sector.
A significant participant in the worldwide industrial gases market, Air Products & Chemicals Inc. is the company’s joint venture partner and an essential source of technical assistance for the business.
Eventually, IAPL (INOX Air Products Ltd.) will be able to increase its size and take a significant proportion of the local industrial gas market thanks to the commercialisation of its additional capacity.
- Profitable and efficient operations
Operating margins at IAPL have consistently been above 40%, and this trend is likely to continue in the medium to long term due to factors including a more significant percentage of merchant revenue, consistent cash flow from the onsite sector, effective distribution, and expanding geographical coverage.
Additionally, ROCE is expected to maintain a healthy level in the medium to long run.
- Industry competitiveness and end-user cyclicality
As a result of items being mass-produced, competition is fierce in the domestic industrial gas market. Some major companies in the business have merged due to this trend towards consolidation.
In the Indian market, the company receives competition from established and upcoming businesses. The company’s growth is slow during economic downturns since end-user sectors are fundamentally cyclical.
Although the take-or-pay structure of contracts offers some safety, the company’s primary source of income is highly unpredictable.
- Significant funding requirements
The industrial gases sector has a long gestation time, a lengthy payback, and substantial capital expenditures. If these things happen simultaneously with an economic downturn in the industry, local projects or significant capacity additions in the merchant segment could have a negative impact.
There has been a steady improvement in IAPL’s financial risk profile throughout the years. As of March 31, 2023, net worth was around ₹4700 crores and is predicted to rise due to reserve additions.
Over the next two fiscal years, the company aims to invest ₹2,800 crore in capital expenditures, financed via a careful combination of loans and internal accruals.
Therefore, experts believe the capital structure will remain sound, gearing below 0.40 times. Debt protection indicators are expected to remain robust, with debt/EBITDA reaching a high of 1.5-1.7 times in the next financial year and then gradually decreasing to around 1 times in the medium run.
A substantial amount of interest coverage, more than ten times, is expected to be maintained in the short to medium term.
Shareholding pattern of INOX Air Products
The shareholding pattern (as of March 31, 2021) of INOX Air Products is as follows:
|Prodair Corporation, USA
|Siddhomal Air Products Private Limited
|Inox Chemicals LLP
|Siddho Mal Trading LLP
With deep expertise and a strong market position, Inox Air Products is in an excellent position to benefit from India’s sustainability goals. Its move into green ammonia production leverages its long-standing operational success to contribute to a greener, more energy-efficient future.