The public sector Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) has called for expression of interest (EOI) from both private and public sector companies for investments in expansion and diversification projects it has identified.

In a recent announcement, FACT said that it planned to expand and diversify its core business to sustain productivity and improve profitability. The company had earlier limited the scope of possible joint ventures to public sector companies.

The potential areas of cooperation with private sector companies include a new sulphuric acid plant; urea plant; NP complex fertilizer plant and an ammonia-urea complex.

FACT's production facility is spread over two campuses — Udyogamand and Cochin, and comprises, among others, a 990-tonnes-a-day ammonia plant; two sulphuric acid plants; a phosphoric acid and a complex fertilizer plants.

At the centre of FACT's new plans is the projected availability of LNG in Kochi by the end of the current year. FACT hopes to switch feedstock from the costly naphtha and furnace oil to LNG when natural gas will be available here. The availability of LNG and the pricing will decide the future of the expansion and diversification plans which include: a sulphuric acid plant with a capacity of 2,000 tonnes a day. The investment requirement is more than Rs. 318 crore. An NP complex at an investment of over Rs. 200 crore and an ammonia-urea complex at an investment of Rs. 4,600 crore are the other major items on the agenda for expansion and diversification.

The company has floated a 50:50 joint venture model between FACT and the willing company for specific projects. FACT authority has also proposed that the 2,000-tonnes-a-day sulphuric acid plant and the 1,000 tonnes-a-day NP plant can be combined as a single block.

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