Guwahati: In a major development that augurs well for the economy of the Northeast, the Union Cabinet on 21st May approved setting up of a new ammonia-urea complex at Namrup with an annual capacity of 8.64 lakh metric tonnes (LMT) at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore through a public private partnership (PPP) route. Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Cabinet also gave its approval for revival of closed urea unit of Fertilizer Corporation India Limited (FCIL) at Sindri (Jharkhand) with an investment of Rs 6,000 crore.
There is no urea producing unit in the eastern part of the country except two small ones at Namrup. Hence, the setting up of a new ammonia-urea complex is expected to meet the growing demand for urea in the Northeast, Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. It will also ease the pressure on infrastructure as long distance transportation of urea from Western and Central regions will stop, thereby saving in government subsidy on freight. Besides accelerating the economic development of the region, the proposed plant is also expected to open new avenues for the people of the Northeast.
In the proposed JV at Namrup, Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited (BVFCL), Assam Government and Oil India Limited will hold 11%, 11% and 26% equity respectively, while the balance 52% will be held by private/public sector entities which would be inducted through a competitive bidding process.
The new Namrup plant will be highly energy efficient as per the international standards and have latest technology and with the same amount of natural gas available to the existing units, urea production from the new unit will more than double from 3.6 LMT to 8.64 LMT annually. The Centre is also expected to save about Rs 600 crore annually due to reduction in cost of production and import substitution. The urea from this unit will be neem-coated so that its benefits are passed on to the farmers of the Northeast.
The annual consumption of urea in the country is approximately 310 LMT, of which 230 LMT is produced indigenously and the rest is imported. (ENe)