Tata Pigments Ltd is the outcome of the House of Tatas’ commitment to preserve the environment and conserve the natural resources. Thus, Tata Steel, in the 1920s, decided against the discharge of acidic waste pickle liquor from their Sheet Mills in the river, and instead, decided to treat it in an environment friendly manner. At the time of its creation, Tata Pigments was known as the Tatanagar Chemicals Ltd and was primarily established with the objective of protecting the natural water resource, creation of wealth from the waste and production of a material, which till then was not produced in the country.
The Company has undergone a change of name several times. When Tata Steel, in 1937, took over the company, it was renamed “Chemico”. Diversifying in to newer ventures, Tata Pigments started the production of Sodium and Potassium Ferro-cyanide, by utilizing the Cyanide Sludge from coke oven gas washing plant within Tata Steel. This venture undertaken in collaboration with Beco Chemicals, West Germany, entailed another change of name for Tata Pigments- from Chemico to “Cyanides & Pigments Ltd”. This was in 1959, but the project was suspended for technical reasons and in 1962, the then Indian Tube Company Ltd (ITC) acquired the interests of Beco Chemicals, facilitating an equal partnership between Tata Steel and ITC.
The amalgamation of ITC with Tata Steel accorded Tata Pigments the status of a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel and its name once again underwent a change. Finally in 1985, the company was named “Tata Pigments Ltd”. Since then, Tata Pigments Ltd has steadily progressed, introducing new products and facilities, and upgrading its processes to more modern and technically savvy methods and machineries. The migration from natural iron oxides to indigenously manufactured synthetic red iron oxide and more sophisticated technologies, resulted in a demand for high chroma colours, product consistency and increased chemical purity. Earlier, natural iron oxides were used to produce relatively inexpensive pigments in a wide range of red, yellow, brown and black for use in coatings and construction industries.
Evolving continuously, TPL presently sports a state-of-the-art plant in the country. The Company adopted the direct Red Precipitation-cum-Hydrolysis process for the manufacture of synthetic Red Iron Oxide pigments and also upgraded the seed-making technology for yellow iron oxide pigment, ensuring a pollution-free environment. The technology was obtained from USA. Like a true Tata Enterprise, TPL in the conduct of its business affairs, complies with regulations on preservation of environment, ascertaining an eco-friendly balance in its vicinity.
The “TATA RED” brand- synthetic red iron oxide suited for floor application, launched in 1987 is not only a leader in floor colour segment, but is also synonymous with quality. Tata Pigments Ltd continued to grow rapidly, introducing Tata Black, Tata Yellow, Tata Green, Tata Blue and Tata Pink to compliment the wide spectrum of colours. It may be worth mentioning TPL is now an international player.
TPL widened its scope of product range, and to further substantiate its area of business, “Cemplus from Tata Pigments”, dry cement paint in 1994, water-based emulsion paint, Ecoplus in 2003, which is an exterior paint in 14 shades, “Ecoplus”, acrylic distempers in 18 shades in 2004 completed the range of materials required for adorning a building were also launched. Started 78 years ago, Tata Pigments Ltd has traversed a long distance to attain the position of the largest producer of synthetic iron oxide pigments of India that it now enjoys.
TPL got a major breakthrough, when it signed an agreement for technology transfer for the manufacture of “Cemplus” and “Ecoplus” in Bangladesh. The plant has already been commissioned at Jessore on 3rd October 2005.