Rs 30,000 cr to be spent to revive 4 sick fertiliser units

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New Delhi, April 27 (IANS) State-run units in the energy sector will jointly invest close to Rs 30,000 crore to revive four sick fertiliser plants by 2020-21 in order to make India self-sufficient in urea production and reduce imports, the government said on Thursday.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, briefing reporters following an inter-ministerial meeting here, said while Rs 20,000 crore would be invested to revive fertiliser plants at Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Barauni (Bihar) and Sindri (Jharkhand), the Talcher unit in Odisha is being revived with an investment of Rs 8,000 crore.

Besides Pradhan, the meeting was attended by Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar, Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State for Fertiliser Mansukh Mandaviya.

“India’s annual requirement of urea is 31-32 million tonnes. In the last fiscal year that ended on March 31, domestic production was 24.5 million tonnes and the balance was imported,” Ananth Kumar said.

While physical work on the fertiliser plants will start this year, production will start in 2020-21, Pradhan said.

The plants are being revived with the help of power generator NTPC Ltd, Coal India, Indian Oil Corporation and gas utility GAIL India, all of whom have acquired equity stake in these units.

The Talcher plant is being revived by a consortium comprising FCI, GAIL, Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilizer and Coal India Limited.

“This would be the first time a fertilizer plant (Talcher) in India will be operated based on coal gasification technology. About 2.5 kilometre of gas pipeline per day is being laid,” Pradhan said.

The four fertiliser plants, together with the Ramagundam plant in Telangana, which is also being revived, will add 7.5 million tonnes of capacity, making India self-reliant, Ananth Kumar said.

Besides, Rs 13,000 crore is being invested in laying a gas pipeline to connect the eastern region with rest of the country.

The Sindri, Gorakhpur and Barauni units will be connected to the 2,650-km pipeline, which GAIL is laying from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal to supply feedstock natural gas.

Another Rs 6,000-8,000 crore will be invested to set up a terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Dhamra in Odisha, taking the total investment to Rs 50,000 crore, Pradhan added.

–IANS

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