The action plan includes a 24-hour hunger strike by 251 employees at the Premier Junction in Kalamassery from 10 a.m. on January 21.

Save FACT Action Committee, the combine of trade union of workers and officers at Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore, has appealed to the Union and State governments to avert a major crisis at the public sector company in view of the high price of natural gas that has forced the management to stop ammonia production immediately.

The Action Committee said it would intensify protest action to revive the company in view of the latest hike in natural gas price. The action plan includes a 24-hour hunger strike by 251 employees at the Premier Junction in Kalamassery from 10 a.m. on January 21.

A spokesman for the Action Committee said on Wednesday that FACT was being asked to buy natural gas from Petronet LNG’s terminal here at the rate of US$24.35 per mmBtu. This has led to the closure of the ammonia plant. The FACT management has decided to import ammonia as it will be cheaper.

The action committee appealed to the government to evolve an natural gas compensation package for FACT in view of the high price of the fuel as FACT has been placed at a tremendous disadvantage because fertilizer-makers in other centres of the country got their feedstock at the rate of US$ four to five per mmBtu.

The action committee appealed to the Union government to forgo its share of 5.15 per cent Customs Duty and to the State Government to forgo its share of 14.5 per cent Value Added Tax to ease the natural gas price.

An official from the fertilizer company said on Tuesday that LNG had now proved more pricy than the old feedstock naphtha. FACT had switched over to natural gas in September last year.

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