ANDHRA PRADESH

RCF warehouse at port: Jha

Special Correspondent

Facility to come up on 10-acre site

VISAKHAPATNAM: Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited (RCF) is constructing a modern warehouse at the Visakhapatnam port on a 10-acre plot given by the port on a 30-year lease.

Disclosing this to media persons here on Saturday, RCF Chairman and Managing Director U.S. Jha said that Andhra Pradesh was a major market for RCF, and as Visakhapatnam was the No.1 port in the country, he wanted to make it a hub for fertiliser import and distribution in the south and also to parts of north India.

The company was confident of crossing the Rs.5,000-crore mark in sales turnover during the current financial year, as it had taken up trading of fertilisers on a large-scale, he added. RCF was at present producing 2.5 million tonnes besides trading in 1.5 MT of imported fertilisers – urea, DAP and MoP. The sales turnover during 2006-07 was Rs.3,500 crores and the profit after tax was Rs.150 crores.

The aim

Last year, RCF sold 2.6 MT of fertilisers. “Our aim is to sell all kinds of fertilisers, not only urea, DAP and MoP. We are selling micro nutrients, organic fertilisers and bio-fertilisers as well. We have taken up a number of ambitious new projects,” he said.

Gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin would be commercially available from next year and there would be plenty of feedstock.

He noted that there had been no fresh investments in the fertiliser sector for several years as the Government had not yet formulated a clear policy.

An effective, import-parity policy would encourage investments, he felt.

Interest burden

Mr. Jha, also the chairman of the Fertiliser Association of India, said there was delay in subsidy payments to the fertiliser companies by the Central Government during the past three to four years. He said the Central Government had released Rs.15,000 crores on Friday as the first instalment.

The government had to pay Rs.300 crores to RCF towards subsidy arrears. The interest burden was crippling many fertiliser companies, he said.

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