Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs formally approved subsidy for Urea that are to be produced by TFL (Talcher Fertilizer Plant). TFL is a state-run fertilizer plant.

Talcher Fertilizer Plant

  • It is to commission a new fertilizer plant in Odisha. This plant will produce urea through coal gasification. The GoI is to provide subsidy to establish the plant. It will be the only plant in India to produce nitrogenous soil nutrient through coal gasification process.
  • TFL is a joint venture of Fertilizer Corporation of India, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd) and Coal India Ltd.
  • TFL will establish a urea plant base on coal gasification technology at an estimated investment of Rupees 13,277 crores.
  • The annual capacity of the plant is 1.27 million tonnes per year.
  • The plant is expected to be completed by 2023. It is currently facing delays due to COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The tender to construct the Talcher Fertilizer Plant project has been provided to China-based Wuhan Engineering. This has been done to promote the innovative coal gasification technology.

Current Scenario of India’s Fertilizer consumption

  • India consumed 61 million tonnes of fertilizers in 2020-21. Out of this, 55 per cent was urea.
  • The import of fertilizers in India has been increasing since 2010 due to lack of investment.
  • India has set a target of investing Rupees 20,000 crores in coal gasification projects by 2030. This will help India reduce its dependence on imports.

Coal Gasification

  • It is the process of producing syngas. Syngas is a mixture of hydrogen, CO, natural gas, CO2 and water vapour. It is produced from coal and water.
  • The Coal Gasification adopted by Talcher Unit will release negligible nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

Benefits of TFL plant

Presently, India produces urea using natural gas. Import of Natural Gas is highly expensive. Therefore, India is adopting alternative routes such as coal gasification to produce urea with indigenous raw materials. The project will help India become self-sufficient in urea, reduce its dependence on imports and also use coal in an environment-friendly manner.

Cabinet approves Subsidy for Urea produced via Coal Gasification Cabinet approves Subsidy for Urea produced via Coal Gasification