Adani Group mulling to bid for Sindri urea plant

Sindri plant assumes importance as there is no functional urea unit in the eastern India except two small units at Namrup in Assam.

New Delhi: Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Enterprises is mulling to bid for the now-shut Sindri urea plant in Jharkhand as the USD 9.4 billion group plans to foray into the fertiliser sector.

The commodities-to-infrastructure group is seriously considering to participate in the tender which the government is likely to float soon for revival of the urea plant, sources said.

The plant, which has been lying shut since 2002, may require at least Rs 6,000 crore investment for revival.

Sources said senior officials of Adani Group recently met Fertiliser Ministry officials to show interest in revival of Sindri fertiliser plant.

When contacted, Adani Group spokesperson declined to comment.

Adani Group, founded in 1988 for import and export commodities, has grown into a USD 9.4 billion enterprise with interests spanning from coal to power, ports to logistics and infrastructure.

Sources said in their meetings with government officials, Adani group executives have shown keen interest in Sindri fertiliser plant revival.

The Cabinet had earlier this month approved revival of the closed urea plant at Sindri in Jharkhand by selecting an operator through open bidding.

The decision for bidding was taken after SAIL withdrew from its earlier proposal to revive Sindri plant in joint venture with National Fertilisers Ltd (NFL).

Fertiliser Corporation of India Ltd (FCIL's) Sindri unit was the first PSU in independent India. The unit is lying defunct and is not in operation since 2002.

Sources said Sindri plant assumes importance as there is no functional urea unit in the eastern India except two small units at Namrup in Assam.

The Sindri plant could cater the demands of urea in the states like Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, as neither of these states have any fertiliser plant.

Urea is a controlled commodity and its maximum price is fixed at Rs 5,360 per tonne. The difference between cost of production and selling price is paid as subsidy to the manufacturers.

At present, India's urea production is stagnant at 22 million tonnes, while the annual demand of the country is 30 million tonnes, the rest is met through imports.

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