Fertilizer-maker Zuari Industries Ltd. on Wednesday said that it is in the process of acquiring land to set up a Rs. 5,000 crore gas-based urea plant in Karnataka with an annual capacity of 1.3 million tonnes a year. “The company has got approval from the Karnataka Government to go ahead with the project. We have started the process of acquiring land in Belgaum district,” Zuari Industries Executive Vice-Chairman H.S. Bawa told presspersons on the sidelines of a press conference.

“The project is estimated at Rs. 5,000 crore, and it will be built in Belgaum district, bordering Maharashtra and Goa, which has a gas pipeline running through it,” he said. Natural gas is a feedstock for fertilizer plants. The plant will be built near the Dabhol-Bangalore gas pipeline project, which is expected to be completed by 2012-13, he added.

Mr. Bawa was here to participate in a ceremony to reposition 21 group companies, including Zuari Industries, led by industrialist Saroj Poddar, under an unified banner —Adventz. The Belgaum plant will be commissioned by 2015-16 after the Government's new fertilizer investment policy comes into force, he said. Apart from Belgaum, Zuari Industries is looking at land acquisition near Karwar in Uttara Kannada for building a phosphate and customised fertilizer plant at an estimated investment of Rs. 700 crore, he noted. — PTI