DIBRUGARH, March 9 � Following a terse warning from the Prime Minister�s Office, officials of Brahmaputra Cracker & Polymer Limited (BCPL) are gradually getting their act together, and currently efforts are on to award several major contracts within this month, and also re-schedule and strictly adhere to the revised roadmap to commission the project by the fresh deadline of December 2013. The gas cracker unit will produce 2,20,000 tons per annum (TPA) of HDPE/LLDPE, 60,000 TPA of Polypropylene, 55,000 TPA of Raw Pyrolysis Gasoline and 12,500 TPA of fuel oil upon commissioning.
Today, a meeting of the BCPL Board was held in New Delhi, where the discussions hovered around the revised commissioning schedule and more importantly, the revised financials. Earlier estimated to cost Rs 5,460 crore, the gas cracker final cost could well exceed Rs 10,000 crore, though the current projection is in the tune of Rs 9,286 crore. The revised estimates for the project would have to be cleared by the Finance Ministry.
As per the earlier estimate of Rs 5,460 crore, a major component of Rs 3,047 crore was offered to the project as Central subsidy, with capital subsidy amounting to Rs 2,138 crore and Rs 909 as feedstock subsidy. With the current financials hitting the roof, there would have to be a fresh financial closure. Industry sources said the revised estimates may have to be shared by three of the four stakeholders: NRL, GAIL(India) Limited and OIL. The Assam Government, which has a ten per cent stake in the project, may find it difficult to pool in more resources.
BCPL sources here said that till now an amount of Rs 1,420 crore has been spent on construction activity, with plant and machinery taking up Rs 535 crore, engineering activity Rs 326 crore and site grading works costing Rs 396 crore.
In a step that is likely to speed up work at the gas cracker, a move is on to award several major contracts to successful bidders by the end of the current month. These contracts relate to setting up of the Gas Sweetening Unit (GSU), Ethylene Cracker Unit (ECU), the Polypropylene unit (PPU), Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) and High Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Units, Pipelines� laying, Bulk material transportation, construction of water intake plant from the Sessa river, and construction of a railway siding.
The BCPL sources also commented that for work to carry forward smoothly with the revised deadline, there is an urgent need for the appointment and posting of a Construction in-charge at Lepetkata, where the project is coming up, 10 kms from here. They said this post should be manned by someone in the rank of a general manager, to assist the chief operating officer (COO). The current COO of BCPL, Prabhu Nath Prasad is an official in the rank of executive director. The BCPL managing director, JK Singh Teotia had to resign his post in January this year, as he failed to carry out his tasks to the satisfaction of all. In the meanwhile, the Union fertilizer & chemicals ministry (the controlling ministry of BCPL) has written to the Department of Public Enterprises to arrange for recruiting a new managing director for BCPL. However, this process will take not less than four months to be completed.
It has to be mentioned here that there is no officer in the rank of general manager at BCPL here, to coordinate construction activity at the project site. The proposed construction in-charge, as and when appointed, will be a direct bridge between BCPL and the project management consultant, Engineers India Limited. With hardly many weeks remaining before the onset of monsoon this year, the BCPL administration would have to act fast, if Dr Manmohan Singh fulfils his undeclared desire to commission northeast�s biggest industrial enterprise before his current tenure as Prime Minister ends in May 2014.