PPL To Break Even Next Fiscal, Lines Up Expansion

Bhubaneswar, February 26: | Updated: Feb 27 2003, 05:30am hrs
Paradeep Phosphate Ltd (PPL), the first public sector fertiliser company to be privatised, is completing one year under the private management on February 28. And the success story of PPL under the private management is bound to give the required ammunition to the Union disinvestment ministry which is now facing an opposition against furthering the privatisation process of the public sector units.

The company is on course to achieve break-even by the end of the financial year 2003-04. PPL, which is having the Asias largest di-ammonia phosphate fertiliser production facilities at Paradip in Orissa, was incurring losses when it was handed over to Zuari Maroc Phosphates Pvt Ltd as part of the strategic disinvestments last year. But the company under the new management has made a turnaround in a year time. PPL was steadily losing huge sums of money over the years and it lost as much as Rs 230 crore in the year 2001-02. The companys liability touched Rs 1,000 crore including the Rs 550 crore it owed to overseas suppliers and its net worth had become zero.

But, change came when it was taken over by the Zuari Maroc, a joint venture company formed by KK Birla Group and the OCP Group of Morocco, on February 28, 2002. During the year, PPLs production trebled to eight lakh tonne clocking 110 per cent of the capacity. The sales rose by three times to 7.50 lakh tonne from 2.50 lakh tonne in 2001-02. And, the losses came down to below Rs 60 crore from Rs 230 crore incurred in 2001-02.

The production of intermediates such as sulphuric acid and phospheric acid has increased from a mere five per cent rated capacity to over 70 per cent of the rated capacity.

"This could be achieved because of the, dedication and commitment of the new management to revive the plant," said PPL chief of communication Barun Banerjee.

"Today substantial progress has been made in achieving the objectives and the company is well on its way towards a turnaround," added Mr Banerjee.