PM Modi inaugurates Rs 130 bn Talcher fertiliser project in Odisha

Photo: ANI

PPrime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday laid the foundation stone for a Rs 130 billion-project to revive the Talcher fertiliser plant and exuded confidence that it will begin production in the stipulated 36 months.

The fertiliser plant will for the first time see coal being converted into gas for use as a feedstock and for producing neem-coated urea.

"They have told me production will start in 36 months. I assure you that I will come again after 36 months here with you. I will inaugurate this project," Modi said at a function organised to mark the commencement of work on the project.

Noting that the project will help cut import of natural gas and fertiliser and make India self-reliant, he said, "Our aim is to take India to new heights of growth." 

Projects like the fertiliser plant here are central to India's growth story, the prime minister said. "This plant will use latest technology as well." 

The beginning of work on the plant would fulfil the dreams that should have been fulfilled long ago, Modi said.

The project will produce 1.27 million tonnes of neem-coated urea -- a crop nutrient -- and would use coal-gasification technology to produce feedstock for the plant.

"Coal-gasification is being used for the first time in India to covert this 'black diamond' coal into gas. This would help reduce import of natural gas fertiliser," he said, adding the project would also generate employment for about 4,500 people.

The project is being executed by a consortium of PSUs, which Modi said is a shining example of how the country's 'crown jewels' can work together.

Modi was of the view that this technology of coal gasification will give new direction to development and would be replicated in other new projects for fertiliser production and other purposes.

The Talcher fertiliser project of the Fertilizer Corporation of India was shut in 2002 by the then BJP-led NDA government as frequent power restrictions as well as obsolete and mismatch of technology made the plant economically unviable.

The government in August 2011 decided to revive the plant. A new company Talcher Fertilisers Ltd was constituted with four state-run companies -- GAIL, Coal India, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers and FCIL -- as partners.

Speaking on the occasion, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said this will be India's first coal-gasification based fertiliser plant that will produce 1.27 million tonnes per annum of urea leading to greater self-reliance in crop nutrient.

It will produce 2.38 million standard cubic metres per day equivalent natural gas utilising available domestic coal in an environment-friendly manner. This would help reduce LNG import bill by Rs 16.2 billion annually.

"The Talcher fertiliser plant will usher in an uncharted path of progress and prosperity for industrial and economic growth in Odisha by providing a massive boost to fertiliser and other ancillary industries in the state. It will also create new opportunities for employment," he said.

Assuring all support for the project, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said 50 per cent of the production of this plant will be used in the state itself, benefitting farmers.

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