India and Ghana have revived plans for setting up a joint venture for a urea plant in the West African nation as it has abundant gas which is used as feed stock for manufacturing of the soil nutrient.

“Ghana has discovered new sources of gas so it approached us for setting up a joint venture (JV) urea plant and we are also looking forward to set up projects in the countries with abundant gas,” Fertilizer Minister Ananth Kumar told PTI.

Recently, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana Samuel Panyin Yalley has called on the Fertilizer Minister to discuss about the plant.

“We are exploring the option of setting up a joint venture similar the OMIFFCO with Oman,” Kumar added.

The Minister also mentioned that government is keen on raising country’s urea production which should be cost effective also.

This is the second time both countries are exploring the setting up an urea plant.

Earlier in 2010 also, India and Ghana had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a urea plant with initial capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per annum at Shama district in western Ghana, with an estimated investment of $1 billion.

Both the countries had to identify one company from each side for executing the project. Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) was nominated by the Indian government to participate in the project.

However, RCF shelved its plan to set up a fertiliser plant in Ghana as the African nation has denied assured supply of gas.

After the successful implementation of IFFCO’s urea plant in Oman, Indian government and fertiliser companies are eyeing offshore ventures where the gas is comparatively cheaper to met the domestic urea demand.

Natural gas accounts for as much as 65 per cent of urea production costs in India.

No new urea capacity has been added in India in last almost 13 years.