ONGC plans fertiliser plant as output jumps

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SummaryPublic sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC) is planning to set up a fertiliser or power plant in Maharashtra to utilise its gas bounty

Public sector Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC) is planning to set up a fertiliser or power plant in Maharashtra to utilise its gas bounty from the nearby Daman and western offshore C-Series fields, a senior company official said.

The higher status in allocation of gas to the fertiliser sector could tilt the balance in favour of a urea plant. “Everything depends on the allocation of gas. Power has lower priority than fertiliser,” the official said. Although the exact investment is still being worked out, it could be R13,000-15,000 crore.

The move closely follows the commissioning of an ONGC power plant in Tripura and an agreement with the Tripura government to set up a fertiliser unit there.

ONGC recently declared that the Daman structure will be on stream by 2014-15 — earlier than scheduled — and also upgraded its reserves from the C-Series field. The combined output from the Daman and C-Series fields will be around 13 mmscmd of gas, up from the current 3 mmscmd.

Daman is expected to contribute 7 mmscmd of gas while the C-Series gas field – which has proved to be more hydrocarbon-rich than previously thought — will double output to 6 mmscmd. ONGC has fast-tracked the development of the Daman structure by four years to reap dividends earlier than previously planned.

ONGC is in the process of purchasing land at Kelwa Mahim in Maharashtra, where a gas processing plant will come up next to the fertliser plant. The official added ONGC would build a pipeline network of around 80 km to evacuate gas from the shallow water field around 30-40 meters deep. “The gas will be brought to Kelwa Mahim where we have already identified land. The government is helping us to procure the same. We will set up a shore terminal to process the gas and if we get permission, we will set up a power or fertiliser plant,” the official said.

Investment for the pipelines and the gas processing unit is estimated at Rs 10,000 crore. Since plans for the fertiliser plant are still being firmed up, there is no estimate of the likely investments. However, officials say ONGC might need Rs 5,000 more crore for the fertiliser plant, which was the amount it has invested in its Tripura fertiliser plant.

ONGC currently has two gas processing plants at Hazira in Gujarat and Uran near Mumbai. “We cannot use our other gas processing plants

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