Fertiliser Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday reviewed the progress of the Sindri, Barauni and Talcher urea projects, which are being revived by the Centre after they were closed, to add 3.81 million tonnes (mt) of the crop nutrient to domestic production as part of its efforts to cut import dependence.

The government is committed to starting the production of urea from Barauni and Sindri plants shortly, the minister said, adding these two plants will add more than 2.5 mt of indigenously produced urea which will help in the reduction of equivalent amount in import.

While the Barauni plant is 96.9 per cent complete, Sindri is 96.5 per cent as of July 31, officials said, adding 0.4 per cent incremental progress reported by each plant in July. The Talcher plant, the country’s first coal gasification-based urea facility expected to be commissioned in 2024, is 29.5 per cent complete, officials said.

The Centre approved the revival of the Talcher urea plant in 2011 but it languished during UPA tenure. The project along with the revival of Gorakhpur, Sindri and Barauni units were taken up from 2016. Accordingly, Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited was incorporated with 29.67 per cent equity participation, each, by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and Coal India Limited (CIL) and 11 per cent by Fertilisers Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) for the revival of these three plants. The Gorakhpur plant got commissioned in December last year.

Focussed efforts

Talcher unit is getting revived through Talcher Fertilizer Limited (TFL), a joint venture of Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL), Coal India Limited (CIL), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) and FCIL. While FCIL holds 4.45 per cent equity in TFL, the remaining shares are with GAIL, RCF and CIL.

Mandaviya said through focused efforts of the government, India will become self-reliant in urea production. Currently the country needs to import 9-10 mt of urea annually to meet domestic demand of 34-35 mt.

About ₹34,145 crore have been spent on urea subsidy during April-July, which is 54 per cent of Budget allocation of ₹63,222 crore for FY 2022-23.

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