Prime Minister Narendra Modi at an event in Singapore. (Photographer: Paul Miller/Bloomberg)

PM Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Rs 13,000-Crore Talcher Fertiliser Project

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today commenced work for the Talcher fertiliser plant at Angul in Odisha. The Rs 13,000-crore project is the first fertiliser plant in India to use coal-gasification technology to generate urea.

The project, which will start production in 36 months, will help cut import of natural gas and fertiliser and make India self-reliant, Modi said.

“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.

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

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. While GAIL, RCF, and CIL hold 29.67 percent each, Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd has a 10.99 percent stake in the project.

“It took us some time to select the technology,” BC Tripathy chariman of GAIL told reporters explaining some of reasons for initial delays at a press conference yesterday.

The government plans to end imports of urea in five years by boosting domestic production. The Odhisa plant will have an output of 1.27 million metric tonnes per annum of neem-coated prilled urea made by using coal and petcoke as feedstock.

The plant, which is expected to be commissioned by 2022, will help meet Odisha urea requirement. "We are getting urea from plants in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra, which sometimes leads to scarcity. With this plant in the state, we will be able to address this problem," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who was present at the event said.

Besides, the plant will also produce 2.38 million metric standard cubic meters per day natural gas equivalent synthesis gas from coal leading to a reduction in the annual import bill by more than Rs 1,620 crore.