India makes plans for a $783M fertilizer manufacturing plant in Iran
India plans to build the plant in Chabahar with a capacity of 1.3 million tonnes. (AFP/File)
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India is looking for a local partner to set up a urea manufacturing plant in Iran at a cost of $783 million.
A consortium of three Indian companies seeks to form a joint venture with Iranian partners to build the plant in Chabahar with a capacity of 1.3 million tonnes.
The facility will use Iranian natural gas as feedstock and the urea produced at the plant will be exported to India.
According to the Press Trust of India, a senior India delegation will visit Iran next month for talks. Indian government officials have already conveyed to Iranian authorities that they are looking for a long-term gas contract at feasible rates.
India has nominated state-run Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF), Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals (GNFC) and Gujarat State Fertilizers Corporation (GSFC) for the proposed plant.
India’s urea consumption has soared by 50% to 30 million tonnes per year over the past decade. The country has to import 8 million tonnes of urea per year to cover rising demand by Indian farmers for fertilizers.
The idea to set up a joint fertilizer plant by Iran and India was broached in 2013 but talks have been stuck over gas price issues.
Indian companies have already formed a tie-up with Omani companies to build a fertilizer plant in the Persian Gulf Arab nation.
New Delhi’s plans to revive the project marks its latest bid to step up trade with Tehran following last month’s conclusion of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran’s Ambassador to New Delhi Gholamreza Ansari has said the Islamic Republic would welcome India's participation in various "big ticket projects" in diverse sectors.
Iranian and Indian officials are set to meet this week to discuss plans for construction of an aluminum smelter and a captive power plant in Iran in a project worth about $2.6 billion.
India has also signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Iran’s strategically-located Chabahar port but a commercial accord has yet to be inked in order to start the project.
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