Staff Reporter

Chances of FACT joining urea-ammonia project bright

KOCHI: A decision on the Indian fertilizer companies that will participate in a joint venture urea-ammonia complex in Egypt in collaboration with Adi Establishment of Syria is expected to be taken by the end of this month even as a Government delegation is likely to visit Egypt next week to hold further discussions on the proposed project, expected to cost around Rs.3,000 crore.

An official of Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) said here on Thursday that FACT's chances of joining the Egyptian project were bright.

He discounted reports that the fertilizer company might lose out on the joint venture project even though it had set the ball rolling by inviting global expression of interest for joint ventures.

The FACT official said there was a possibility of a memorandum of understanding being ready in tandem with the Government delegation's visit to Egypt later this month.

The Adi Establishment, a group with diversified interests, had initially offered 15 per cent stake to FACT and FACT Engineering and Design and Organisation (FEDO). However, the Union Fertilizer Ministry wanted the stakes to be increased to 50 per cent. The Union Government has promised to back FACT in finding the money for the JV, which also involves a 100 per cent buyback agreement. This implies about 100 tonnes of urea being bought by the Indian partner companies once the facility is commissioned.

The FACT official also said that there was no delay in the official process.

The clarifications came in the wake of reports that FACT might lose out on the joint venture project owing to the delay in taking a decision and that FACT's share in the JV might be significantly reduced.

Meanwhile, the FACT has set aside about 1,000 acres at Ambalamugal for various projects in collaboration with the State Government.

The FACT official said 500 acres of land had been earmarked for an Information Technology park, while 100 acres had been set aside for a gypsum park. The FACT is also planning to build a defence products park on its land at Ambalamugal..