After two years of delay, the revival of Rs 8,000-crore Talcher project in Odisha is likely to take-off soon as the technology to be used for an integrated coal gasification-cum-fertiliser production facility has been finalised. Soon, a techno-economic feasibility study of the project will be conducted and thereafter bids will be invited for selecting a technology partner for coal gasification. A decision in this regard was taken in the recent board meeting of the joint venture firm Talcher Fertilisers Ltd which is executing the project. Senior officials from GAIL, CIL, RCF and FCIL were present in the meeting. “A major hurdle has been cleared, the technology for coal gasification has been finalised in the recent board meeting of Talcher Fertilisers Ltd (TFL),” according to an official source. The details of the technology, however, could not be ascertained.
The option of blending petcoke from Paradip oil refinery with coal from Talcher for production of gas was also discussed. Gas produced from coal gasification will be used as fuel for fertiliser production. TFL will assess the technical and economic feasibility of the technology for coal gasification. If it is cost-effective for producing urea, then bids will be floated to select a technology partner, the sources said. The Talcher project has been delayed for two years due to non-finalisation of technology and other issues. The proposal is to set up 2,200 metric tonnes per day (MTPD) ammonia plant and 3,850 MTPD urea unit through coal gasification route.
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TFL is a consortium of four state-run companies including GAIL, CIL, RCF and FCIL, was established in December 2014 to execute the project. Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar is regularly reviewing the revival programme of the Talcher unit and other five closed urea units in UP, Jharkhand and Bihar. The revival of these units, which will take couple of years, will help increase the country’s total urea output by 80 lakh tonnes from the current 245 lakh tonnes and reduce dependency on imports.