NEW DELHI, Feb 10: In an important development, the Centre today gave its nod to the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers to give Rs 100 crore grant-in-aid to Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited (BVFCL), Namrup to sustain operations of its urea manufacturing units.
Official sources said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded the approval.
The grant-in-aid will help BVFCL restore its urea production capacity of 3.90 lakh MT per annum and ensure availability of urea to the tea industry and farming sector in the Northeast. It will also continue the existing employment of about 580 employees on a permanent basis and another 1,500 persons on ad hoc basis. Further, 28,000 people get indirect benefits from this establishment.
BVFCL, Namrup is a public sector undertaking formed as per the Companies Act, under the administrative control of the Department of Fertilizers, Government of India. At present, the company is operating its two vintage plants – Namrup-II and Namrup-III.
Despite being the first gas-based urea manufacturing unit in the country and having all the infrastructure and feedstock, it has become difficult to maintain reasonable production level from the existing units in a cost-effective manner because of their old and obsolete technology.
In order to ensure the safe, sustainable and economic operation of the plants, certain equipment and machinery need to be overhauled. The minimum functional repair to be undertaken for smoother operation of the plants with procurement of mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and catalyst items, etc., shall attract an estimated expenditure of Rs 100 crore and therefore, Centre approved the grant-in-aid of Rs 100 crore to BVFCL.
A high-level delegation of Assam government had held a meeting under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers DV Sadananda Gowda on the upcoming 12.7 lakh MMTPA capacity urea plant at Namrup.
The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameshwar Teli, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, State Minister of Industries and Commerce Chandra Mohan Patowary, besides top officials of the ministry and all stakeholders on January 21.
Gowda had told the meeting that bringing about development in North East region is a priority of the present Central government and the Prime Minister. It is, therefore, imperative to expedite the process of setting up of a new state-of-the-art urea unit at Namrup in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of attaining self-sufficiency in urea production. The urea unit would not only cater to the local farmers’ fertilizer demand, but also export the surplus to the neighbouring countries in South Asia. He impressed upon the CMDs of stakeholder PSUs to conclude their internal process regarding this project at the earliest.