the fuel allocation for the sector it presides over. The government has originally given the highest priority in allocating gas to fertiliser units, allocating 15.35 mmscmd of gas from the KG-D6 block to the existing gas-based fertiliser plants. Power and city gas are among the other sectors that are allocated gas. Almost 20 gas-based fertiliser plants are facing difficulties due to scarcity of natural gas, with few plants being fired by the more expensive naphtha fuel.
Shouldering the burden
* The committee headed by C Rangarajan has proposed nearly doubling of the domestic natural gas price
* Price hike could hit subsidy reduction plan & make urea investment policy redundant, feels ministry of fertilisers
* Gas price, if increased, would be around $8 per mmBtu (exclusive of transportation and marketing) against $4.20
* The ministry has estimated that a $4/unit hike in gas price would push up the cost of urea by R5,200/tonne