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FCI intends to revive its Sindri sick plant due to the rising demand of urea in the country
With the rising demand for urea in the country, state-run Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI) is planning to revive its Sindri-based plant in Jharkhand, a senior official said.
“FCI has chalked out a revival plan for the Sindri unit, in view of the increasing demand-supply gap in the availability of urea in the country,” a senior FCI official said. The demand for urea is expected to increase by about 3% in 2011.
However, according to local media reports, Jharkhand’s industrial secretary NN Sinha had said that ArcelorMittal was interested in using 6,000 acres of the ailing FCI unit at Sindri. Officials from ArcelorMittal visited Dhanbad during the third week of January and assessed the pros and cons of setting up a proposed 12-MT steel mill in the state by investing Rs40,000 crore, the report said.
FCI’s Sindri unit was closed in 2002 and was under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). FCI filed a review petition in the High Court, which directed it to approach BIFR for reconsideration.
The Projects & Development India Ltd (PDIL) in 2005 had submitted its report to the Union government on the revival of the Sindri unit. The report had suggested two alternatives. One was to make the plant functional as soon as possible and the second option was to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the facility. However, the FCI board did not accept this proposal and instead proposed a brown-field, gas-based plant.
Before the Sindri unit was shut down, it was supplying urea, nitric acid, ammonium nitrate, ammonium bicarbonate, liquid nitrogen, oxygen and ammonia to the eastern region.
The FCI plan is still in the preliminary stage. However, officials say that the plant would annually produce one million tonnes of urea. But construction dates for the revival of the plant have not been finalised. However, the FCI official added that the construction process for the revival of the plant would take at least three years.
FCI has made a detailed plan for the revival of the unit which entails an investment of nearly Rs4,000 to Rs5,000 crore, he added. The fertiliser company has already got an in-principle approval from the government and is waiting for a Cabinet nod.
“We are also in search of global tenders and project partners,” the official said.
However, another FCI official said that it would be giving its Sindri revival feasibility study contract to Deloitte as per the Union government’s decision. Deloitte would be looking into the feasibility of the facility and will also seek potential partners for the company.
FCI’s intention to revive the plant comes at a time when global urea demand is expected to increase by 4.7% per annum during the period 2008-2012 with the demand-supply gap expected to remain tight and supply just managing to meet demand.
According to a report by Chemical Weekly, India’s fertiliser demand is expected to increase by about 4.3% per annum from FY2008-FY 2013, higher than the global growth rate of 2.8% per year for the same period.
The mutual fund industry's average AUM fell by Rs32,853.79 crore or 4.1% during January for the second month in a row
The country's mutual fund (MF) industry witnessed a decline in the average assets under management (AUM), for the second month in a row, to Rs7.60 lakh crore in January, reports PTI.
The industry's average AUM fell by Rs32,853.79 crore or 4.1% during the said month.
The combined average AUM of the 37 fund houses stood at Rs7,61,632.26 crore at the end of January, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (AMFI).
Reliance MF maintained its numero uno position as the country's largest fund house with an AUM of Rs1,17,248.60 crore during the month, despite losing Rs2,733.20 crore from its assets.
Market analysts said that the fall in assets of MFs was due to the correction in the equity market in the past month in addition to banks opting to stay away from funds.
Reliance MF was followed by the country's second-largest fund house HDFC Mutual Fund, which saw an erosion of Rs2,386.80 crore in its AUM. HDFC MF, which saw its AUM in November cross the Rs1-lakh crore mark, had average assets worth Rs94,797 crore at January end.
The country's third-largest fund house, ICICI Prudential MF, saw its AUM falling by Rs4,059.90 crore during the month to Rs78,372.40 crore.
The other two fund houses among the top five—UTI MF and Birla Sun Life MF—saw their assets declining to Rs74,509.90 crore and Rs68,066.20 crore, respectively.
The combined AUM of MFs had touched a record Rs8-lakh crore mark in November last year.
The Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensex dropped by 6.3% in January to end at 16,357 points.
Meanwhile, some smaller fund houses like Taurus MF, Baroda Pioneer and Canara Robeco MF managed to see an increase in their respective AUM in the reviewed month.
In December last year, the assets of fund houses had dropped by Rs28,645 crore or 3.6% as compared to the November figures.