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RCF eyes Durgapur fertiliser unit

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AMIT CHAKRABORTY   |   Calcutta   |   Published 20.03.07, 12:00 AM

Calcutta, March 20: Public sector Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) is keen on reviving Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation’s (HFC) closed fertiliser plant in Durgapur using natural gas as the main feedstock. The company has already placed a proposal before the government to take over the assets.

RCF chairman and managing director U.S. Jha told The Telegraph that the gas finds in the Krishna-Godavari basin and the proposed pipeline from there to Haldia could help restart production at the closed unit using natural gas as the main input.

The cabinet, he said, has in principle approved a long-term plan to revive closed fertiliser units in the eastern region.

“We are looking at the prospect and have informed the government about our intention to take up the revival of one or more fertiliser plants in the eastern region,’’ Jha said.

Apart from HFC’s Durgapur and Barauni units, three plants of the Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI), at Sindri, Gorakhpur and Talcher, having a combined capacity of two million tonnes, are also closed. According to Jha, chemicals and fertiliser minister Ram Vilas Paswan is planning to revive some of the units with a hike in capacity.

“Our main plant is in Maharashtra. We have been marketing our Ujjwala brand of urea and Suphala complex fertiliser in the eastern region and have expressed our desire to put up a plant in the region,’’ Jha said.

Jha, who is also the chairman of the Fertiliser Association of India (FAI), said around Rs 12,000 crore of outstanding subsidy was pending with the government despite the Rs 22,450-crore subsidy provided in this year’s Union budget.

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