Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) may wade into ammonia and urea production as it is keen to use the spare gas from its coal gasification plant, a top company official said. “The gas that we are producing is about 225 thousand cubic metres per hour for which we set up this gas-based coal generation plant… We have 75-90 thousand cubic metres of gas we can spare for setting up an ammonia or urea plant. So, it is very much on the cards,” JSPL MD and CEO Ravi Uppal told PTI in an interview. Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas from coal and water, air and/or oxygen. “We are seeing how the fertiliser industry is also in a state of transition. That is local supply versus imported. So, we are trying to see what is the clear trend first to take that kind of diversification,” Uppal said.
The company had installed 2-mtpa steel-making capacity at its Angul steel complex in 2015 with coal gasification using the DRI route, which is being used for the first time in the world. Later, it added 4 mtpa steel-making capacity. Asked how soon the plant will be set up, Uppal said “it will depend upon the movement of ammonia and urea prices”. He further said an investment to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore is required to set up around a 1,200 TPD (tonnes per day) capacity ammonia plant. The coal gasification plant (CGP) at Angul in Odisha is the world’s first CGP to produce syngas from high-ash swadeshi coal for steel-making.
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At the time of inception of the project, the Angul Integrated Steel complex was envisioned as the country’s first and only steel plant to be based on purely swadeshi raw material. The CGP has a capacity to produce 225,000 Nm3/hour syngas, catering to the 1.8 mtpa DRI (direct reduced iron) plant. The CGP is an energy-efficient and environment-friendly method compared to its conventional alternatives. After meeting all operational requirements of the DRI plant at Angul, the CGP can accommodate a potential capacity for certain other processes – for example, to produce up to 1,500 tonne of ammonia per day.