Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Dec 24:
In a significant step towards augmenting domestic urea capacity, four Central PSUs – GAIL (India) Limited, Coal India Limited (CIL), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) and Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) – today signed a Joint Venture (JV) agreement to set up an Integrated Coal Gassification cum Fertilizer and Ammonium Nitrate complex at Talcher in Odisha’s Angul district.
The JV agreement was signed in the presence of Union Chemicals and Fertilisers minister Ananth Kumar, Union minster of state for Petroleum & Natural Gas (Independent) Dharmendra Pradhan, Union minister of state for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy (Independent) Piyush Goyal and Union minister of state for Chemicals & Fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in New Delhi.
The four Central PSUs had signed a MoU on September 5 last year for jointly setting up Fertilizer and Ammonium Nitrate complex at Talcher.
As decided, GAIL will be primarily responsible for setting up the upstream coal gasification and gas purification section for production of ammonia syn gas for downstream fertilizer units at an estimated investment of Rs 3000 crore.
GAIL had floated an Expression of Interest (EoI) for technology selection for coal gasification, which is critical for the success of the project. The selection would be finalized by end of January next year
The Talcher Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd, to be led by RCF, will be primarily responsible for setting up Ammonia-Urea, Nitric Acid-Ammonium Nitrate plants at an estimated investment of Rs 6000 crore with majority stake held by RCF and Coal India Ltd (CIL), which have undertaken pre-project activities.
The project comprises a 3850 MTPD Urea plant, a 2700 MTPD Ammonia plant, a 850 MTPD Nitric Acid plant and a 1000 MTPD Ammonium Nitrate plant.
While GAIL will put up the Coal gasification plant, RCF and CIL will put up the other downstream plants of Ammonia, Urea, Nitric Acid and Ammonium Nitrate.
After detailed feasibility study, execution of construction activities is likely to start in 2015-16 and expected to complete by the year 2019.
A suitable coal block for supplying coal to the project in the vicinity of the complex is being identified on a priority basis by the Centre. The process for allocation of the block is being initiated by the Coal ministry.
The project is of strategic importance for the country as it aims to make a breakthrough for an alternative source of feedstock in the form of abundantly available coal from domestic sources.
As per available statistics, the total coal reserves in the country are around 300 billion tonne with recoverable reserve of 173 billion tonne. Thus the potential exists for converting these reserves into value added products like syn gas for use by fertilizer and power plants at affordable price.
Revival of the Talcher unit will trigger a great economic boom in Odisha and eastern part of the country as it will generate opportunities in the form of direct and indirect employment for the people in the region.
Besides, the project will give the much needed urea fertilizer to the farmers of the country.
Success of this project is expected to be a game changer and shall pave the way forward for the production of fertilizers from abundantly available coal resulting in less dependency on imports.