Though the history of Civil Explosives for blasting can be can be traced back to the black powder and gunpowder days of 1600's, the modern civil explosive owe their existence to Alfred Nobel inventing dynamite in 1866. Though unlike dynamite & nitro glycerin explosives, today's explosives are based ammonium nitrate based formulations in liquid or emulsified form.
In India, the mining sector accounts for 80% demand for civil explosive which in turn is dominated by coal mining and the balance 20% is for infrastructure projects like roads, hydro engineering, irrigation etc. Packaged explosives account for 30% share in the industry where as bulk or site mixed slurry explosive along with ammonium nitrate fuel oil (AnFO) based explosives dominate the rest of the market and are also the high growth segments. Logistics and availability of ammonium nitrate are the major concerns for growth of this industry.
As the industry is tightly regulated most of the industry is in the organized sector with ICI India, Gulf Oil, Indian Oil Corporation and Solar explosives are the leading players.
MICRO EXPLOSIVES: while there is pressure to look at innovative ways to market civil explosives such as offering blasting services etc. In my view the industry should look at specialized usages and invest in R&D for micro explosives for industries like Aerospace, Space Technology, Bio Engineering and Healthcare industries etc. Imagine a casule of medicine expldoing just at the right spot inside your body..!!!! or a Lunar Probe simulating blasts on the moon surface..!!!