Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) on Thursday said it is open to set up more urea and gas-based thermal power plants in the areas it has a presence in the hydrocarbon sector.

Asked if the company would replicate its Tripura model, where it has invested Rs 3,950 crore on a 726 MW power plant and also announced to invest Rs 5,000 crore on setting up a urea plant, Mr Sudhir Vasudeva, Chairman and Managing Director, replied in the affirmative during an interaction with newspersons. “Given an opportunity, we are open to set up more such plants in areas where we have a presence and where there is a shortage of fertilisers and power.”

ONGC plans to set up a hydrocarbon-based urea fertiliser plant after completion of the power plant at Palatana in south Tripura district.

The first phase of the power plant, 363.3 MW, is expected to go on stream by June and the second phase, also of 363.3 MW, three months thereafter.

Mr Vasudeva pointed out that the North-Eastern States, as also neighbouring Bangladesh, have a huge demand for fertilisers. “India has a demand of 29 million tonnes (mt) of urea but we are producing only 22 mt at present and importing 7 mt.”

With the commissioning of the Tripura urea plant, the entire North-East would be benefited and the fertiliser could be exported to Bangladesh as well, he added.

Mr Vasudeva also applauded the role of Bangladesh authorities in making it easier for ONGC to transport heavy power equipment through their territory to Tripura.

Asked about ONGC's forays into South China Sea, despite objections from China, he said the PSU had won the deep sea block from Vietnam after due bidding. “We are looking for appropriate technology as our next focus will be deep water exploration.”

(This article was published on April 26, 2012)
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