CIL And BHEL Sign JVA For Setting Up Ammonium Nitrate Plant Through Surface Coal Gasification Technology

Big step Towards National Coal Gasification Mission, the plant is expected to produce 2000 tons of Ammonium Nitrate per day

Two of the country’s top Maha Ratna CPSUs – Coal India Limited (CIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) on 28th February 2024 in Delhi for setting up an ammonium nitrate plant through surface coal gasification (SCG) technology route.

The plant to come up in Lakhanpur area of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, Odisha is planned to produce 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate per day initially. The annual production is slated at 6.60 Lakh tons which requires 1.3 million tonnes (mts) of coal. The coal will be supplied by CIL.BHEL would bring to the table indigenously developed pressurized fluidized bed gasification (PFBG) technology for this purpose. The synergy and partnership of the two corporate giants is a big step towards National Coal Gasification Mission which facilitates utilization of chemical properties of coal.

Ammonium nitrate is a major ingredient in manufacturing of bulk explosives which CIL uses in large quantities in its OC mining operations, a major source of its coal production. The upcoming plant as backward integration would help in securing the raw material,reducing import dependency of ammonium nitrate and promoting Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan.

On the occasion, Shri Amrit Lal Meena, Coal Secretary said that with the commitment of CIL and BHEL, this project will be a role model. “Gasification is the highest priority area for the ministry of coal. In next two to three years there will be sufficient coal”, he said. All the possible support from government is in place including financial support for viable gap funding, he added.

Shri Debasish Nanda, Director (Business Development) CIL and Jai Prakash Srivastava, Director (Engineering, R&D) BHEL inked the JVA on behalf of respective promoter companies.

CIL will pursue alternative uses of coal for environment friendly ventures like coal gasification in future after fulfilling the requirement of the power sector. SCG is a promising technology that converts coal into valuable Syn gas. This on further processing produces synthetic natural gas that can be used as alternative natural gas. Additionally, it can be used as feedstock for downstream chemicals production which are currently being imported and for power generation as well.

Projects and Development India Limited, a Mini Ratna design engineering and consultancy company has been assigned the work for preparing a detailed feasibility report of the plant.

Physical possession of the land is under progress and will be completed by September 2024 after which construction activities will follow. Shri M. Nagaraju, Additional Secretary, MoC, Shri K. Sadashiv Murthy, CMD (BHEL), Shri Vijay Mittal, JS, Ministry of Heavy Industries and other senior officers of both the ministries and promoting companies were present during the signing of Joint Venture Agreement.

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