NSL group proposes Rs 6,000-cr fertiliser unit in Tripura

Pratim Ranjan Bose Kolkata | Updated on June 15, 2012

Mr. M. Prabhakar Rao , Chairman, NSL Group   -  P_V_SIVAKUMAR

Interest in gas-based unit comes soon after ONGC initiative

Hyderabad-based Rs 1,500-crore NSL Group proposes to set up a gas-based fertiliser unit in Tripura.

The proposal came close on the heels of ONGC's initiative to set up a similar project in joint venture to monetise the ‘rich gas' resources to be available from the Kubal field.

According to sources, NSL has expressed its interest to set up the 1-million-tonne project either independently or in a venture with ONGC.

The company has also identified land for the estimated Rs 6,000-crore project. Proposals in this regard were submitted to both the Tripura government as well as the E&P major.

State bullish

Formerly Nuziveedu Seeds Limited, privately-held NSL has exposures in the agri-input and infrastructure sectors. Before approaching the State government directly, NSL (along with five others) responded to an ONGC tender, inviting expressions of interest to participate in a fertiliser JV. Though the tender was closed in February, ONGC is yet to announce the name of the short-listed candidate.

When contacted, the Tripura Chief Minister, Mr Manik Sarkar, told Business Line that the State government has received two sets of proposals from ONGC and an Andhra Pradesh-based private conglomerate to set up a fertiliser unit in the State.

“Whoever comes first with a firm investment proposal will get priority,” he said.

The Chief Minister has held meetings with ONGC chairman, Mr Sudhir Vasudeva, in this regard and was hopeful that the oil and gas major would firm up its JV partner soon.

“I think ONGC is fairly proactive. NSL is also exploring opportunities in the State,” he added.

Rich gas profile

Located in East Tripura, Kubal is an exploratory asset. ONGC has already struck ‘rich' gas — with 95 per cent methane content and fit for fertiliser or other downstream usage — in the field. The company has approached the Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons for declaration of commerciality, aided by the the results from three appraisal wells.

While the field development plan is yet to be put in place; sources suggest that one of the appraisal wells established a flow of up to 1.5 lakh cubic metres a day.

Preliminary assessment suggests that, once fully developed, the field can produce up to 2 million standard cubic metres of gas a day (mmscmd).

In addition to ONGC, a consortium of GAIL and Jubilant Energy NV discovered gas in two wells in AA-ONN-2002/1 block in Tripura. The field is currently under appraisal drilling.

Published on June 15, 2012

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