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Project Profile on Bleached Cotton Linters (BCL)

There exists a huge demand for Bleached Cotton Linters (BCL) in the defense sector for manufacturing Nitrocellulose used in explosives and propellants. For manufacturing 1000 MT of Bleached Cotton Linters, approximately 1500 MT of Raw Cotton Linters (RCL) is required. Sometimes BCL producers face an acute shortage of their basic raw material i.e. good quality Raw Cotton Linters. This happens when Raw Cotton Linter manufacturers resort to exporting their product because of better returns. Importers from China, Japan and other countries offer better prices to them as compared to local market. Guntur in Andhra Pradesh is the main centre for production of Raw Cotton Linters.

The All India Cottonseed Crushers’ Association, Mumbai, monitors the supply situation of Raw Cotton Linters to BCL manufacturers who supply their production to the Ordnance Factories located at Itarsi, Bhandara & Aruvankadu, who manufacture Nitrocellulose from Bleached Cotton Linters which in turn is used for making propellants for use in various types of defense items. The shortage of Raw Cotton Linters, therefore, adversely affects the manufacturing of Nitrocellulose by the Ordnance Factories. This further leads to stoppage of supply of propellant and explosives and thereby vital defense items required by Indian Armed Forces. The Office of the Textile Commissioner, Mumbai, also plays a key role in ensuring smooth supply of Raw Cotton Linters to BCL producers who have to feed the contracted quantities of BCL to the Ordnance Factories.

Considering the seriousness of the issue and to ensure uninterrupted supply of Bleached Cotton Linters to Ordnance Factories, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry vide Gazette Notification No. 28 (RE) 2001 dated 10.09.2001 had given clear direction that export of Cotton Linters would be allowed only on obtaining the NOC from Member/Ammunition & Explosives, Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata. But these restrictions imposed on export of raw cotton linter were removed by the Government on 31st March, 2003.

The project of manufacturing Raw or Bleached Cotton Linters can be a lucrative business opportunity, if one tries to understand and assess the domestic requirement, especially in the defense sector, and also its export potential in different countries.

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