A coal gasification-based urea plant with an annual capacity of 1.3 million tonne has been planned for Chhattisgarh.
Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers, Ananth Kumar, said the plant will come up at an investment of Rs 6,000 crore. The project will be based on coal gasification and will be developed on public-private partnership (PPP) basis.
The state’s industry department officials said that the project was in the initial stage, though the process for its implementation had started. The department had identified a few places in Raigarh and Korba districts that it would allot once the ministry approved after studying the feasibility, the officials added.
Earlier, the ministry had planned a urea plant in Korba district that was later dropped. Instead, it had planned to revive the Korba plant that was closed down some 42 years ago. The plant would be ready for production by 2019 and would have installed capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per annum.
Though the proposed plant would be based on coal gasification, the ministry did not have any coal block in Chhattisgarh to play with. According to officials, efforts were on by the state-run Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) to bag a coal block that could also feed the raw material requirement for the proposed urea plant. This would facilitate state’s partnering in the project.
A private company is also coming up with a coal gasification plant in Korba. The ministry may also explore the possibility of associating the company with the project.
The exercise is part of the new urea policy of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government that aimed of maximizing indigenous urea production, promoting energy efficiency in urea production, and rationalizing subsidy burden on the government. The government is raising domestic urea output by setting up new plants and reviving the closed ones.