India is holding up a joint venture to build a fertilizer plant in Oman, National Economy Minister Ahmad bin Abdulnabi Mekki said in an interview published on Thursday. The minister told the Oman Observer newspaper that the Omani government had cleared the project in the port city of Sur as "financially viable" and the ball was now in India's court.
"We have informed the government of India (of) our willingness to go ahead with the fertilizer project," he said. "We don't know what is happening at the Indian side. When we sort out one problem, another arises," Mekki said. "After revising the fertilizer project, it is still financially viable."
In July, during a visit to New Delhi by Oman's minister in charge of foreign affairs, Yussef bin Alawi, the two sides agreed to push ahead with the $1.1-billion fertilizer plant and another joint venture ¯ a $1.6-billion oil refinery in central India.
Two Indian state-run firms are each to hold 25 percent equity in the Oman India Fertilizer Co., while Oman Oil is to control the remaining 50 percent. The entire fertilizer production is to be bought by India for at least 10 years.
Initially, the fertilizer plant is to have an installed capacity of 1.65 million metric tons of urea and 248,000 metric tons of surplus merchant grade ammonia. ¯ (AFP, Muscat)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )