Gas to the rescue for troubled FCI units

New Delhi, Nov 21 | Updated: Nov 22 2005, 06:09am hrs
The government is considering revival of the Gorakhpur and Sindri units of Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI) by setting up gas-based brownfield fertiliser plants at the existing sites.

The department of fertilisers has discussed the issue of availability of gas with the ministry of petroleum and natural gas and GAIL.

Confirming the move, minister for chemicals and fertilisers, Ram Vilas Paswan, said: The proposal for revival of FCI units and Barauni and Durgapur plants is being examined as per the National Common Minimum Programme.

A proposal has also been received regarding the rehabilitation of the Haldia unit of Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation (HFC), Mr Paswan said.

GAIL has offered to supply gas to the units by 2010. GAIL has informed the department of fertilisers (DoF) that it is in the process of laying a gas pipeline from Jagdishpur to Haldia, passing through Eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand to meet its offer.

The gas major claims that geographically the Gorakhpur unit is close to the HVJ system and the Sindri unit is nearer to CBM or Myanmar gas. According to GAIL, the source of gas for the HVJ system could be the Dahej terminal.

The total gas supply to the fertiliser sector is around 23 mmscmd. However, the demand of gas is expected to go up to 60 mmscmd owing to expansion and de-bottlenecking of projects as well as the conversion of fuel oil and naphtha-based units to gas.

The HFC and FCI plants were closed down by the NDA government in September 2002 due to unviability.