Millennium Post

CIL & NTPC form JV for 1.2-mt urea plants at Sindhri, Gorakhpur

State-run miner Coal India on Monday said it has entered into a pact with power major NTPC Ltd for setting up a joint venture firm to revive fertiliser plants at Sindhri and Gorakhpur. The two firms will produce 1.27 million tonnes of urea per annum. “CIL & NTPC have signed a joint venture agreement for setting up of a joint venture company at 50:50 shareholding basis for revival of Sindhri & Gorakhpur units of Fertiliser Corporation of India,” Coal India (CIL) said in a regulatory filing. 

“The revitalization of these plants would help generate 1.27 million tonnes per annum of urea along with other associated chemicals from each plant, bridging the demand-supply gap of urea which is about 8 million tonnes per annum currently,” the miner said. 

“The things, however, are at the initial stage and both the companies will put their heads together in finalizing a detailed roadmap and mapping out other details in a threadbare manner in days to come,” a CIL official said. The gas would be made available through the proposed Jagdishpur-Haldia pipeline to be constructed by GAIL. 

Last year, CIL had entered into a joint venture agreement with GAIL and fertiliser majors RCF and FCIL to incorporate a firm for setting up and operating new ammonia urea complex in Talcher, Odisha.

These agreements are part of the government’s plan to revive loss-making and closed fertiliser plants through JVs of profit-making PSUs with a view to increasing domestic production of the farm nutrient. Shares of Coal India closed at Rs 282.85 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), up 0.48 per cent from previous close.

Meanwhile, coal production had to be curtailed in the month of April on the back of low offtake of the fossil fuel, a top official said. The government has set a target of 1.5 billion tonnes coal output by 2020.  “I think the offtake was not as anticipated so we did have to cut down our production in April this year but I think it will pick up. We all are very very hopeful that Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) will kick in,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in an interview to CNBC-TV18.

Stating that coal inventories to the tune of about 50 million tonnes (mt) were lying at the pitheads and about 30 odd mt were at power plants, the secretary said “but we have worked out the strategy to liquidate that (coal inventories).”  

“Apart from power plants, there is a lot of demand (of coal) in the steel and aluminium sector. So we are going ahead with coal linkage auctions,” he said. The auction would start by the month end and continue over the next few months till the coal stocks are liquidated.

The coal secretary was hopeful of greater demand for coal going forward as various sectors like steel, aluminium and cement pick up. 

“We believe that these sectors will also pick up and as the economy picks up there will be greater demand for coal in sectors other than power,” he said. Replying to a question, he said the coal ministry has had informal talks with Finance Ministry on the proposed Coal India divestment and buyback. 

Bhel wins Rs 1,600 crore order from NTPC-SAIL Joint Venture
State-run engineering firm Bhel has bagged a Rs 1,600 crore order from a joint venture company of NTPC and SAIL to set up a coal-based thermal power project in Odisha. “The 1x250 mw coal-based thermal unit will be set up at Rourkela Power Project on Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) basis,” Bhel said in a press release. According to the statement, the Rs 1,600 crore order for Stage-III of brownfield power project, located in Rourkela district of Odisha, has been placed on Bhel by NTPC-SAIL Power Company (NSPCL). 
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