Government mulls new fertiliser plant in Karnataka

Bengaluru: The Union government plans to set up a greenfield fertiliser plant in Karnataka through a joint venture at a Rs.6,000 crore investment, an official said on Monday. "The plant with 13 lakh tonne production capacity per annum will be jointly set up by the central and state governments with private participation," the official said after Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar discussed the project with state Industries Minister R.V. Deshpande here. Kumar, who is also a Lok Sabha lawmaker from Bangalore South constituency, asked the state government to identify the required land at Davangere, Dharwad or Vijayapura in the state's northern region for setting up the project, which will create hundreds of jobs and meet the fertiliser needs of farmers across the state. "The project will be located at one of the sites, which will be identified keeping view the feasibility of accessing natural gas from the Dhabol to Bidadi gas pipeline via Bengaluru," the official said. Ahead of the new project, the fertilisers ministry is setting up an advanced polymer design and development research laboratory at Devanahalli, about 40km from Bengaluru, at Rs 87 crore on a 50:50 share basis with the state government. "The laboratory will be built at the aerospace and defence park as the 29th research and development (R&D) centre of the Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology," the official said, adding the state government has allotted five acres land valued at Rs 2.5 crore per acre for the laboratory. "The R&D centre will focus on applied research in advanced material design, product development in conducting polymers, coatings, adhesives, bio-sensors, renewable energy (fuel solar cells), e-waste recycling, nanocomposites and biopolymers," said the ministry in a statement here. Besides research, the centre will carry out validation, commercialisation in the polymer and allied areas to meet the demands of aerospace, defence, marine, agriculture, railways and automobile industries in line with the 'Make in India' initiative of the central government.