Fertilizer manufacturing units are on an expansion mode in East Godavari district, thanks to availability of resources such as natural gas, water and quality manpower. Two fertilizer majors – Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL) and the Coromandel International – which already have established their units in Kakinada, have registered a significant increase in their production over a period of time. Natural gas, allocated by the Reliance and the ONGC, is being supplied through GAIL pipelines to the NFCL, which has shifted from naphtha to natural gas five years ago.
Similarly, water is being supplied through the Dowlaiswaram canal from Godavari River. Of the total manufacturing capacity of 16 lakh tonnes per annum, the firm is now producing 12.5 lakh tonnes, catering to the one third of the total fertilizer need of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Generally, fertilizers from Kakinada are being sent to Chattishgarh, Odisha, Uttaranchal and West Bengal. “There is an immediate need to improve production as there has been a steady growth in demand,” said Kakinada MP Thota Narasimham. He raised the issue in Parliament recently and highlighted the gap between demand and supply of the fertilizer in the State.
The NFCL, in fact, has made arrangements for opening its third plant in the district. However, issues such as drop in supply of natural gas following the pipeline blast at Nagaram last year have been delaying the works. “We are ready to increase the production, provided there is an increase in natural gas supply,” says R. Raghavan, Vice-President of the NFCL.
Since the GAIL is on the job of replacing its old pipelines with the new ones, gas supply on full scale is expected to be resumed soon. Similarly, Coromandel International, owned by the Murugappa group, too is producing fertilizer in its three plants in Kakinada. The total production capacity is 16 lakh tonnes per annum.