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BIFR hearing on Talcher urea plant on Oct 30

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

The Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) will take up hearing on the closed fertiliser plant of Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI) on October 30.

BIFR has directed FCI to submit all audited accounts- balance sheets and profit & loss accounts along with auditor reports from the date of sickness to the present period. The board has also asked FCI’s chief executive and one of its directors fully acquainted with the closed unit’s case to be present at the time of hearing.

The Talcher urea plant, the only of its kind in eastern India, was set up in the late 70s and began production in 1980. It was referred to BIFR in 1992 after sustaining continuous losses.

Finally, the NDA government in 1999 stopped budgetary support and shut down the plant. The BIFR after hearing the case for many years ordered closure of the unit in 2002 in the absence of any revival proposal by the then government.

At a public meeting held at Talcher recently, Union minister of state for chemical and fertiliser and statistics & programme implementation, Srikant Jena had announced that revival of the closed fertiliser plant would take off in six months.

The minister had inaugurated the site office of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (RCF), which is spearheading the revival initiative.

As per the revival plan, the fertiliser will be produced from this unit through coal-gasification route. This will be carried out with an investment of Rs 8,000 crore. A consortium has been formed by three PSUs- FCI, RCF and Coal India (CIL) with RCF having the controlling stake to implement the plan. CIL will ensure uninterrupted coal supply to the fertiliser unit.

In March this year, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking expeditious revival of the unit.

“The state is experiencing urea shortages frequently and the demand supply gap for urea has widened over the years. There is no urea plant in the eastern region and the revival of the Talcher plant will go a long way in addressing a chronic shortage.

“This step would provide employment and also contribute to the overall growth and development of the eastern region. Further, this plant can build synergy with the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR) which the Odisha government is developing with the support of the Government of India,” Patnaik had stated in his letter.

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First Published: Tue, October 23 2012. 00:31 IST