Cabinet approves Subsidy for Urea produced via Coal Gasification

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs recently approved subsidy for Urea that are to be produced by TFL. TFL is a state-run fertilizer plant. It is Talcher Fertilizer Plant.

About the Plant

  • The TFL is to commission a new fertilizer plant in Odisha. This plant will produce urea through coal gasification. The Government of India 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.
  • Talcher Fertilizers is a joint venture of Fertilizer Corporation of India, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, GAIL and Coal India.
  • Talcher Fertilizer will establish a urea plant base on coal gasification technology at an estimated investment of Rs 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 TFL project has been provided to China-based Wuhan Engineering. This has been done to promote the innovative coal gasification technology.

Current Scenario of Fertilizer consumption in India

  • India consumed 61 million tonnes of fertilizers in 2020-21. Out of this, 55% 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 Rs 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, carbon monoxide, natural gas, carbon dioxide 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

Currently, 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.

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