V SAJEEV KUMAR Kochi, November 9: (Source: The Hindu Businessline)
The delay in getting the Centre’s assistance has not deterred FACT in forging ahead with new projects for revenue generation.
With an emphasis on agro-related product exports, the fertiliser company is on the verge of establishing a container freight station with assistance from Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda).
The project investment will be to the tune of ₹38 crore, of which 90 per cent will be funded by Apeda. FACT’s stake will be only 10 per cent plus the land, for which it has earmarked 25 acres in Udyogamandal, FACT’s Chairman and Managing Director Jaiveer Srivastava said.
The company’s brand image with seven decades of service to farmers in the rural sector can be leveraged for the project. The proposal, which has been cleared by the Board, is now under the consideration of the Union Agriculture Ministry.
“FACT – being a public sector – can avail grant from Apeda up to 90 per cent of the capital investment and hence there will be no cash outflow,” Srivastava told BusinessLine during an interaction.
The proximity to Vallarpadam Terminal with easy access to rail and air link will be an added advantage to the project. This new initiative is part of the Centre’s move to promote more agro-based industries in the South. This is expected to benefit farmers and other companies who are dealing in export of agro commodities and other food items, he said.
Srivastava, who is also the Chairman of the Fertiliser Association of India, Southern Region, said that the recent discontinuation of production in three urea plants in the South due to non-availability of naphtha subsidy has affected urea production in the region.
The consumption is touching 5.4 million tonnes in the South against a domestic production of 2.68 million tonnes. The gap is fulfilled by imports. The total urea demand in the country is estimated at 29 million tonnes. This, coupled with the recent cyclone that lashed Andhra Pradesh, also impacted operations of fertiliser companies on the East Coast affecting timely availability, he said.
To meet the 100 per cent import requirements of potash, he said the Fertiliser Ministry has initiated a move for a joint venture with Acron, Russia. A consortium is formed which is in the process of undertaking a due diligence study from Acron-owned Talitsky mines in Perm region of Russia. NMDC is heading the consortium and the member firms are RCF, RCF, FACT, Kribhco, NFL. The consumption of potash in south India was 9.25 lakh tonnes with the country importing 2.5 million tonnes per annum from Israel, Jordan, Canada, Russia.
(Source: The Hindu Businessline)