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The country’s first plant to produce urea from coal, which will make the fertiliser cheaper for farmers, may be set up in the state.
The Maharashtra government has signed a memorandum of understanding with a US-based company to set up the plant at Bhadravati near Chandrapur, Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters on Sunday. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis later confirmed that it will be a Rs 4,000-crore project by Stonetek Energy.
Urea is largely imported and the plant will reduce India’s dependence on imports. Urea which is made out of naphtha costs nearly Rs 40,000 a ton and Gadkari said the price can be halved if it is produced in India out of coal, which is in abundance in Vidarbha. The process for securing linkage from Western Coalfields Limited is under way and the ministry of coal will be approached soon. Gadkari, who was briefing newspersons about the Agrovision farm expo to be held from November 12 to 14, added that Maharashtra can enter into a urea purchase agreement with the company and get the fertiliser at an even cheaper rate. The company also has a coal gassifcation technology which can provide alternate fuel.
Sources said that the MoU was signed on October 6 and the project will come up on the land earlier allotted to Nippon Denro Limited, which had shelved a plan to set up a 1,000MW power plant. The Chandrapur district administration has been asked to identify around 800 acres of land from the 3,000 acres allotted to Nippon Denro.
Research says that a chemical similar to urea can be extracted out of fly ash also. This concept will also be exploited. Flyash is generated from coal burnt in power plants and is a major pollutant.
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