RCF Rajasthan JV Stalled For Now

Mumbai, March 24 | Updated: Mar 25 2004, 05:30am hrs
Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd (RCF) has put its plan to set up a diammonium phosphate (DAP) joint venture project in Rajasthan on the backburner. The Rs 350 crore project was to be jointly raised by RCF and Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd (RSMML).

According to RCF chairman and managing director S Balan: The plan for setting up the DAP plant in Rajasthan has been shelved temporarily due to the upcoming election and the disinvestment of RCF. While the equity participation between RCF and RMMC has not been decided, the terms of procurement of raw material from Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) is yet to be sorted out.

Initially, RCF, RSMML and HZL had agreed to participate in the joint venture. However, after Sterlite acquired HZL, it pulled out but offered to supply raw materials for the plant.

Unless we are assured of the commitment of raw materials from HZL, we cannot go ahead with the project, Mr Balan said.

As planned earlier, the plant, with a capacity of 850 mtpd, was to use huge quantities of indigenous rock phosphate from the Jhamarkotra mines in Rajasthan.

The proposed joint venture was planned to serve the requirements in Rajasthan, western parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and a part of Punjab.

These regions normally suffer from acute shortage of DAP. While RCF decided to supply ammonia for the production of DAP, HZL was supposed to supply sulphuric acid.

RSMML, a government of Rajasthan enterprise, is in the business of mining, processing and marketing of industrial minerals like rock phosphate, natural gypsum, and steel grade limestone.

The company was expected to supply about 2.5 lakh mtpa of rock phosphate out of the total requirement of 3.7 lakh mtpa.

Meanwhile, the government has also decided to defer the disinvestment of RCF till the general elections are over. All the major fertiliser companies including Tata Chemicals, Indo Gulf Fertilisers, Chambal Fertilisers and Iffco have already submitted expressions of interest for participating in the disinvestment programme. Reliance Industries too had joined the fray.