IFFCO's Paradeep unit producing DAP begins earning profit

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Paradeep, Orissa, Nov 17 (UNI) Recently acquired Paradeep unit of IFFCO, a fertiliser manufacturing major, is not simply a success story of the cooperative sector over much eulogised private enterprises but a stark manifestation of how a section of Indian private business often dons the mantle of industrial entrepreneurs to make fast buck and run away.

The Paradeep Unit was set up by M/s Oswal Chemicals and Fertilisers in 2000 on a sprawling piece of 1200 acre land at the Paradeep port to produce phosphatic fertilisers (DAP/NP) but could manufacture only 11 lakh tonnes before it was declared sick and closed by Supreme Court orders for severe environmental violations in 2005.

The plant was still wrapped in mysterious intentions of its founding father when IFFCO purchased it at around Rs 2400 crores in October, 2005, thus representing a reverse case in an era wherein public sector companies, even some profit earning ones, were being sold to private enterprises.

It was a spenduous task to put the sick and dilapidated plant to production which made IFFCO to pump in an additional Rs 1000 crore on the replacement of even some vital parts of machinery and equipment, plant Executive Chief Patel told a visiting team of Delhi jouranlists.

The plant, which was virtually in shambles, was not only revived but the production also was brought to profit by the IFFCO in a period less than three years.

Before relaunching the plant a massive restoration, revamping and de-bottlenecking in accordance with mandatory environment norms was taken up.

The unit produced 0.3 lakh tonnes of DAP/NP in 2005-06, 7.5 lakh tonnes in 2006-07 and 8.658 lakh tonnes in 2007-08. During the past 7 months till October, 2008, Paradeep unit has produced 7.90 lakh tonnes of fertilizers. The production target of 15.0 lakh tonnes -- could easily be achieved, the ED said.

Interestingy, this year Paradeep unit has broken many records.

The sulphuric acid is fed in the phosphatic acid plant and is generated a high pressure steam from waste heat that goes into power eneration of 55 MW. This is one of the world's largest plant that produces a single stream of 2650 tonnes per day of 100 per cent P2O5 phosphoric acid and three streams of DAP/NP each of 2090 tonnes.

The annual capacities of the plant are: 23.1 lakh tonnes of sulphuric acid, 8.7 lakh tonnes of phosphoric acid and 19.20 lakh tonnes of DAP/NP fertiliser.

The raw matetrials -- suplhur, phosphate rock and ammonia-- are imported from Jordan, Algeria and Vietnam and sulphur and ammonia from Gulf countries.

For handling raw material, a jetty at Paradeep Port with two unloaders having capacity to unload 1500 tonnes per hour each and liquid cargo of 800 to 1200 tones per hour is used.

IFFCO has been contributing 20 per cent of total nitorgenous and 30 per cent of total phosphatic fertiliser production in 2007-08.


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