Heavy Water Plant at Baroda is the first plant set up in the country for the production of heavy water by employing Monothermal Ammonia-Hydrogen exchange process. This facility also has a Potassium metal plant for supply of Potassium metal for preparing catalyst solution for all Monothermal Ammonia-Hydrogen exchange plants. The plant is located 8 km north from Baroda railway station along the national highway No. 8, adjacent to the Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. (GSFC). This plant was originally integrated with three stream ammonia plants of M/S GSFC. Plant was receiving synthesis gas from ammonia plants of GSFC and returning the depleted synthesis gas back to GSFC after extraction of deuterium from the gas.
In 1999, M/S GSFC commissioned their new technology based low-pressure Ammonia plant (A4), operating at around 140 kg/cm² pressure, and stopped operation of their old high pressure (640kg/cm²) ammonia plants. Operation of HWP had to be suspended simultaneously due to non-availability of synthesis gas at high pressure. Facing the challenge, HWP is modified to reorient its operation independent of GSFC.
The Ammonia Water Exchange Front-End unit is set up which eliminates dependency of HWP on Ammonia plants of M/S GSFC for its deuterium feed stock. It uses water as the source of deuterium in the process and ammonia works as carrier gas only. Thus the Front-End unit and other necessary changes carried out in the existing process system makes the operation of HWP independent of GSFC. This is the beginning of new phase for production of Heavy Water in India demonstrating independent operation of a Heavy Water Plant from the fertiliser plant.
POTASSIUM METAL PLANT
The first plant to produce Potassium Metal in India on a commercial scale was set up in Baroda, Gujarat as a part of Heavy Water Plant. This plant was commissioned in 1975 with an initial rated capacity of 30 MT/year.
This plant is based on Thermal reduction of Potassium Fluoride with Calcium Carbide initially developed by M/S. Hoechst A.G. Werk Griesheim, West Germany and perfected by HWP. The plant was established for the internal consumption of Heavy Water Plants. It was expanded in 1987 to enhance the production capacity to 52 MT/year and has a capability to meet the demands of external customers also. Plant was awarded ISO-9001 : 2000 on 06.08.2002 and produces the Potassium Metal of high quality having an purity level of 99.8 % by weight.