The proposed fourth unit of the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilisers Corporation Limited (BVFCL) in Namrup will be ready within four years.
This was announced by the union minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers DV Sadananda Gowda on Thursday in Namrup while addressing a meeting at BVFCL.
He informed that the Centre will take urgent steps to facilitate the revival of the ailing plant.
He asked the BVFCL management to chalk out a quick action plan to rejuvenate the existing Namrup-2 and Namrup-3 units and submit it to the ministry.
BVFCL is the oldest gas-based fertiliser plant of the country.
Owing to the rapid decline in urea production caused by outdated machinery and failing infrastructure, the plants have been struggling to stay afloat.
“Prime Minister Narendra has always given preference to the development of the Northeast,” Gowda said.
“BVFCL is lacking in modern infrastructure which has resulted in the high cost of production,” he added.
“Centre will take every required step to revive the fertiliser plant. The fourth unit will be set up,” the minister further said.
“But since it will take 3-4 years to get ready, the existing units will be rejuvenated so that production doesn’t suffer,” Gowda added.
The fertiliser plant was set up in 1969. The production, however, has witnessed a rapid decline in recent years.
In 1986, the ageing Namrup-1 plant was phased out by the authorities while the two operational plants, Namrup-2 and Namrup- 3, set up in 1976 and 1987 respectively.
Both the units combined has been producing less than 3.5 lakh metric tonne of urea per annum
This is far below its optimum capacity of 5.55 lakh metric tonne.
As a result, the plant has been struggling to cope with the growing demand of urea from major buyers like West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Back on June 26, 2006, a state-of-the-art fourth unit with an estimated production capacity of 8-9 lakh metric tonne was announces.
This was announced by the then union minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan.
“However, in the last 13 years, no progress was seen on the ground,” informed Gowda.