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DAE plans Rs 500-cr uranium separation plant at Iffco-Paradip

Mon, 17th Jul 2017 (Source:Business Standard)

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) is contemplating to set up a uranium separation plant on surplus land within the premises of the Paradip unit of Indian Farmers' Fertilizers Cooperative Ltd (Iffco). The facility is estimated to cost Rs 500 crore.


"The uranium plant needs 90 acres of land. The DAE officials had initial discussions with us. They have also discussed this proposal with Ipicol (Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd). The plant would recover uranium from rock phosphate and waste materials. The DAE is working out the economic feasibility of the project”, said an Iffco source.


Iffco has already earmarked the land for the proposed uranium separation plant and demarcation has been done. After recovering uranium, the residual phosphoric acid would be returned to Iffco.


Iffco's fertiliser complex at Paradip is spread over 2,072 acres of land. The plant was commissioned in 2000 by Oswal Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd. Iffco took over the plant from the original promoter in October 2005. At the time of the takeover, the plant was closed down due to non-compliance with environmental norms set by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board. During acquisition, Iffco had invested Rs 2,400 crore. Its cumulative investments in the plant since acquisition has touched nearly Rs 5,000 crore (as on March 31, 2017).


Iffco contributed 32.7% to the total phosphatic fertilisers produced in the country in 2016-17. In urea, it had a share of 17.9%. Iffco produced 1.63 million tonnes of complex fertilisers in last financial year and in FY18, it is targeting 1.8 million tonnes in production. Iffco's dedicated berth at Paradip port handled 3.86 million tonnes of cargo in last financial year, meaning a capacity utilisation of 65%.

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