Projects Info | 24-30 November, 2008


Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML)

Investing heavily in R&D

Eco-friendly & socially committed, Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) is the only integrated Titanium Dioxide facility having mining, mineral separation, synthetic rutile and pigment-production plants. Apart from producing rutile grade Titanium Dioxide pigment for various types of industries, it also produces other products like Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, Sillimenite, Synthetic rutile etc. Manufacturing Titanium Dioxide through the chloride route, KMML produces very pure rutile grade Titanium dioxide pigment. The different grades churned out by KMML under brand name KEMOX has a ready market, which asks for more. The commendable work in research by the R&D department has also helped KMML to add more colours to its portfolio. With continued growth and demand in the economy and industry, the products of KMML are being lapped up by the eager market. This has in turn set the wheels turning for KMML's expansion.

By 1932, a visionary private entrepreneur established the FX Perira and Sons (Travancore) Pvt Ltd, the forerunner to KMML. During the course of time, KMML changed hands three times over. In 1956 it was taken over by the state government and was placed under the control of the industries department. The unit was subsequently converted as a limited company in 1972 by the name of 'The Kerala Minerals and Metals Ltd'. The construction of Titanium Dioxide Pigment using chloride technology started in 1979. The same was commissioned in 1984 as the first and only integrated Titanium Dioxide Plant in the world.

KMML offers a wide range of products for quality conscious customers. The company's products go into the manufacture of a variety of products used in every day life. Dress materials, facial creams, tablets, newsprints, wood paints, emulsions, enamels, plastics, tooth paste, rubber products, cosmetics, and printing ink - all contain titanium dioxide.
KMML is India's only rutile grade titanium dioxide manufacturing facility (through Chloride Route). The Manufacturing Plant at KMML comprises the Mineral Separation Unit and the TP Unit (Ilmenite Beneficiation Plant, Acid Regeneration Plant, Pigment Production Plant, Oxygen Plant & Utility Section). The raw Ilmenite obtained from the Mineral Separation Unit is taken to the manufacturing facility for further processing. Titanium Dioxide is manufactured here using the chloride route. The chloride route is better than the sulphate route as highest levels of purity can be achieved with this.

The process mainly consists of four steps
Reduction and Bleaching of raw ilmenite to 90-92% TiO2
Ilmenite Beneficiation
Regeneration of spent HCl
Conversion of Beneficiated Ilmenite to TiO2

The resultant TiO2 is used to produce TiO2 pigments of different grades. The byproduct Iron Oxide of the process is used to make the popular Iron Bricks. Special care is taken to regenerate the acid and keep the pollution to near zero levels. The facility follows stringent Safety, Health and Environmental Policies and Practices at every step of the manufacturing process.

The Manufacturing Facility at KMML is equipped with the following Units / Plants
Mineral Separation Unit
Ilmenite Beneficiation Plant
Acid Regeneration Plant
Pigment Production Plant
Oxygen Plant
Utility Section

Earlier in January, leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy had demanded a judicial probe into award of contract for the Titanium Sponge Plant of Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) to the Russian company Rosoboron Exports. Addressing a press conference, Chandy said the contract was awarded without inviting global tenders. Chandy said he welcomed the government decision to order a CBI investigation into the award of contract for modernisation of the KMML's plant. The contract was awarded after calling global tenders to the Central Public Sector unit Mecon Ltd in a transparent manner. The proposal had been mooted at a cost of Rs 782 crore during the LDF rule (Nayanar government) and the then Public Undertakings Committee of the Assembly headed by Mercykutty Amma (CPI-M) had recommended the proposal. When a detailed project report was prepared by the UDF government, which came to power subsequently, the cost went up to Rs 1,115 crore. If there was any irregularity in that, that could be probed. He said the performance of the KMML had improved during the UDF rule with surpluses going up from Rs 296 crore in 2001 to Rs 397 crore in 2006. He said the ground for allegations in the land deal for Cyber City was obvious. Though HMT Ltd. claimed to have floated global tenders for sale of the land, the advertisement had not appeared in any local newspaper.

Research & Development
As for any other industry, R&D holds the key for further growth at KMML. And the company has have invested heavily in the R&D dedicated to the paint and pigment division. The view is to establish world-class products and competitiveness. This excellent facility undertakes research, development and product improvement. Scientists and Engineers continuously pursue innovative technologies in the area of TiO2 pigments, quality improvement and other allied products. The technical and sales service wing extends all help to customers in the field of applications and uses. Analytical services mainly include XRD, XRF, AAS, Carbon Analyzer, Particle size Analyzer, Weathering Testing instruments and Hunter Lab Color Instruments.

R & D achievements
Developed New grade RC-802 with excellent balancing properties of gloss and weather resistance.
Successfully developed an improved process for oxidation plant.
Developed know how to convert iron oxide waste to bricks used for construction.
Developed new grade RC - 808, special grade for automotive coating

Ongoing research includes
Developing a grade suited for thin film plastic application.
Management of solid effluents.
The Company has put such a plant to convert iron oxide into bricks. These bricks are being used for construction inside KMML. Another KMML initiative, it is part of our R&D efforts to work towards constructive recycling of waste materials. The company reaffirms its commitment in responsibly giving back to the environment.

Products Offered
Printing Inks

Titanium Dioxide Pigment
Titanium Dioxide Pigment
Titanium salts
Butyl Titanate
Titanium Oxychlorides

Synthetic Rutile
Titanium Tetra Chloride
Ferro Titanium alloys
Welding electronics
Titanium Dioxide pigment
Titanium salts

High temperature refractory
Ceramic industry

Welding electrodes
Titanium Dioxide pigment
Titanium Tetra Chloride
Titanium Compounds

Rare earth industry
Nuclear technology
Welding electrodes
Titanium compounds
Titanium Dioxide Pigment
Titanium metal/sponge
Titanium Tetra Chloride

Zirconium Chemicals
Zirconium metals
Nuclear technology
As building Material



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