The next hearing of the Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) on the closed fertiliser plant of Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI) is scheduled on December 19.
BIFR has directed FCI to submit all audited accounts- balance sheets and profit & loss accounts along with auditor accounts 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 setup in the late 70s and began production in 1980. However, it remained in red till 1992 when it was referred by the then government to BIFR. Finally, the NDA government in 1999, stopped budgetary support to it and closed the unit.
The BIFR, after hearing the case for many years, ordered closure of the plant 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 fertiliser plant would be take up in six months.
The minister had inaugurated the site office of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF) at Talcher. The revival of the gas-based fertiliser plant would cost Rs 8,000 crore and it will be implemented by a consortium of three PSUs- FCI, RCF and Coal India Ltd (CIL).
RCF will have the controlling stake in the consortium. 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 action on revival of plan.
“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.