Fertilizer Sector Current Affairs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched commencement of work for India’s first Coal-gasification based fertilizer plant with pet coke blending will come up in Talcher, Odisha. The coal gasification based fertilizer plant is being developed by Talcher Fertilizers Limited (TFL).
TFL is joint venture company of GAIL (India) Limited (GAIL-29.67% stake), Coal India Limited (CIL-29.67% stake), Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Limited (RCFL-29.67% stake) and Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL-10.99% stake).
The plant will be built at an estimated investment of Rs. 13,000 crore and is targeted to be commissioned by 2022. On completion, this plant will have capacity of producing 1.27 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA) of Neem coated prilled urea using coal and petcoke as feedstock. Neem coated urea reduces leaching of nitrogen into soil and checks diversion of urea from agriculture uses.
For this plant, TFL has been allotted captive coal mine in Talcher region to ensure steady supply of the feedstock for maintaining continuous operations of the plant. It will produce 2.38 million metric standard cubic meter per day (MMSCMD) natural gas equivalent syngas from coal, leading to reduction in import bill of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by more than Rs 1,620 crore per annum.
Significance of Coal-gasification based fertilizer plant
It will use gas produced from coal, thus reducing dependence on urea and gas imports. It will promote alternative use of domestic coal in environment friendly manner, thereby supporting India’s commitments under CoP 21 Paris Agreement 2016. Pollutants like Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced by this plant will be recycled for production of Urea and other by – products. Further, ash produced by it will be converted to inert slag which is non–hazardous.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved for continuation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme and City Compost Scheme beyond 12th Five Year plan till 2019-20. The proposal was forwarded by Department of Fertilizers.
The total expenditure for continuation of both schemes till 2019-20 will be Rs. 61,972 crore. The expenditure will be on actual basis since national roll out of DBT entails 100% payment of subsidy to fertilizer companies on sale of fertilizers to farmers at subsidized rates.
The subsidy on Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers and Market Development Assistant (MDA) on City Compost will be provided on subsidy rates approved by CCEA on annual basis. The continuation of both schemes will ensure that adequate quantity of P&K is made available to farmers at statutory controlled price.
Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers and importers. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme which was launched in 2010.Its objectives are to foster balanced use of fertilizers to improve soil health and reduce government outgo on fertiliser support (subsidy).
Similarly, MDA is being governed by City Compost Scheme which was launched in 2016. City Compost Scheme aims to convert all organic waste generated in cities into compost or biogas and market the compost with the help of fertiliser companies to benefit farmers.