Tata Steel in a tie-up with South Africa's Sasol Synfuel International today proposed to set up the country's first project to convert coal into liquid at a mammoth investment of Rs 45,000 crore in Orissa.
The proposal for the project with a 3.6 mtpa capacity was submitted by Tata Steel's Vice-Chairman B Muthuraman and Sasol's Managing Director Ernst Oberholster at a meeting with Orissa Chief minister Naveen Patnaik here.
"It's a joint venture mega project. Though we have not identified the location, the proposed plant will be somewhere in the state," Muthuraman told reporters after the meeting.
Company sources said coal for the project would be made available from the Srirampur area in Talcher.
Targetted to be commissioned in 2018, the project to be developed by Tata and Sasol in 50:50 ratio would produce 80,000 barrel of liquid fuel per day.
While the project requires 3,000 acre of land for its main plant, additional land would be required for setting up coal mine, benefication plant, coal handling plant, water reservoir, power plant and township.
Besides superior diesel, the plant would also generate naptha and LPG with by-products like tar, phenol, sulpher and amonia, they said adding that 24 gallon of water per day would be required to run the plant.
This is another big ticket investment in the state where world's two largest steel makers ArcellorMittal and Posco have committed to invest over 1-lakh crore to set mega steel plants.
The project includes setting up a 1,600 Mw power plant, sources said.
"About 35,000 people will get direct and indirect employment in the proposed coal-to-liquid (CTL) plant to be set up in the state," Industries minister Raghunath Mohanty told reporters.
Though the joint venture company made a power point presentation on its vision for the proposed project, it was yet to make a formal application for the same, Industries Secretary S Garg said.
The proposed plant, billed as the first of its kind in the country, would help in meeting country's fuel requirement, Mohanty said, adding South Africa's 40 per cent of fuel requirement was being met by the Coal-to-liquid diesel.
While presenting the matter, the joint venture company urged the state government to provide adequate facilities for early commissioning of the project.