Prime Minister Narendra Modi commenced work for the Talcher fertilizer plant at Angul in Odisha.
With Talcher plant being the first fertilizer plant in India to use coal-gasification technology, it will provide a template for using gas produced from coal, which is likely to be adopted by refineries and power plants to lower their emissions.
Talcher Fertilizers Ltd is a joint venture between state-run GAIL (India) Ltd, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited (RCF) and Coal India Ltd (CIL). Once commissioned, it will produce 1.26 million metric tonnes per annum of neem coated urea.
The Talcher project will reduce dependence on urea and gas imports.
“The plant will promote the alternative use of domestic coal in an environment friendly manner, thereby supporting India’s commitments under the CoP 21 Paris Agreement 2016.
Reviving sick fertilizer units has been a policy priority of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as it reduces import of the most commonly used fertilizer urea and deepens the market for natural gas. Gas-based fertilizer units will also add to the customer base of gas trading and energy infrastructure firms such as Gail India Ltd.
The government wants to step up urea production. India’s urea production capacity is expected to go up from the current 25 million tonnes to 34 million tonnes by 2021-22, according to government estimates.