ONGC, NTPC & CIL to revive 3 urea plants with Rs 18K cr outlay
Cash-rich public sector firms ONGC, NTPC and Coal India were on Thursday asked to adopt one shut urea plant each for revival which would cost about Rs 18,000 crore over the next four years. Looking to cut import dependence by boosting domestic production, the government pushed cash-rich PSUs to take up Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) called a high-level meeting of Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Power & Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to chalk out the revival plan which would hinge on availability of natural gas. State gas utility GAIL India Ltd has been asked to expedite the pipeline from Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh to Haldia in West Bengal to provide connectivity to the shut urea plants at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, Barauni in Bihar and Sindhri in Jharkhand.
According to sources, ONGC will form joint venture with Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation Ltd (HFCL) for revival of urea plant at Barouni. Fertiliser Corporation of India Ltd (FCIL) will form two separate joint ventures with CIL and NTPC for revival of Sindri and Gorakhpur respectively.
The secretaries of fertiliser, power, coal, petroleum and finance alongwith officials of various PSUs were also present at the meeting. Last year, the Cabinet had approved the revival of Barouni, Gorakhpur and Sindri through bidding process. But the response to the bidding was poor, as Adani was the only bidder for Sindri and Matix for Gorakhpur. Besides these three, the revival of other two closed urea plants at Talcher in Odisha and Ramagundam in Telangana has already started.
India’s urea production touched record 24.5 million tonnes in 2015-16 fiscal. While the country’s total demand is about 30 million tonnes, the rest is met through imports. Urea is a controlled fertiliser and its selling price is fixed at Rs 5,360 per tonne. The government pays the difference between cost of production and selling price as subsidy to the manufacturers.