Pre-commissioning and trial runs delayed due to lockdown
Stage is all set for commercial production of fertilizers at the Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (RFCL) from June 15, tentatively, following the completion of pre-commissioning works and trial run of the newly installed plant with technologies from Denmark and Italy for the production of Ammonia and Urea.
Though the RFCL had planned to start production from March 31, it was delayed due to the lockdown from March 22. Sensing the importance of fertilizers for the farming community, the Union Home Ministry had exempted the RFCL from the lockdown in the month of April and directed the authorities to resume the pending works and commissioning of the project by strictly adhering to the social distancing norms, wearing of masks and use of sanitisers etc.
Similarly, the State government had also accorded permission to the RFCL for the execution of the pending works to start the commercial production of fertilizers to meet the demand of the farmers during the ensuing kharif season under the brand name of ‘Kisan’ fertilizers. The RFCL is expected to produce 12.7 lakh metric tonnes of fertilizers annually out of which 6 lakhs metric tonnes is allocated to Telangana State.
The RFCL was taken up as a joint venture by the National Fertilizers Limited (NFL) and Engineers India Limited (EIL), both holding 26 % equity each, the Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCI) and the Telangana government have 11 % shares each, Gas Authority of India limited (GAIL) owns 14.3 % and the HTAS consortium owns 11.7 % share.
The Union government had taken up the revival of the closed FCI unit at Ramagundam as the RFCL and incorporated it on February 17, 2015, as a gas-based urea manufacturing plant. The foundation stone for the revival of the plant, at an estimated cost of ₹ 6,120 crore, was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 7, 2016.
The plant is expected to produce 3,850 metric tonnes of urea and 2,200 metric tonnes of ammonia per day. The godowns to store 20,000 MT of ammonia and 40,000 MT of urea are under construction. The State government is supplying 40 MWs of power, 0.5 tmc ft of water from Sripada Yellampalli project and two million standard cubic meters per day gas from KG Basin.
Following the government orders, RFCL Executive Director Rajan Thappar and General Manager Vijay Kumar Bangar and other officials had ensured the safety of the labour force and the employees while discharging their duties by maintaining physical distance and wearing of masks and also while commissioning of the plant. The RFCL has around 750 regular staff and another 2,000 outsourced employees.