Coal Gasification Unit

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Context: Contract signing award ceremony for Coal gasification unit for production of Urea and Ammonia at Talcher fertilizer plant was held in New Delhi. 

Prelims: Current events of national and international importance. 
Mains: GS III- 

  • Achievements of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.
  • Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
  • Indian Economy. 

Concerned ministry: Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers.

Talcher Fertilizer Project:

  • Rs 13,277 crore fertilizer plant in the Angul district, Odisha, being promoted by GAIL, RCF, CIL, and FCIL, will produce 1.27 MMTPA Urea and 0.73 MMTPA Ammonia using coal gasification technology. 
  • The coal gasification technology for the plant will be provided by M/s Wuhan Engineering Co Ltd.


  • India is committed to COP21 (2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference) to bring down its carbon footprint, and use of coal gasification technology is a step in this direction. 
  • The success of this technology shall also propel the usage of coal for the production of other products like syngas, diesel, methanol, petrochemicals, etc.
  • For meeting the food requirements of the country, the role of fertilizers especially Urea in the Indian context is paramount. Currently, India imports about 50 to 70 lakh tones of Urea every year to meet the urea requirement. The project shall improve India's self-sufficiency in Urea, promote agriculture growth in Odisha and increase the reliability of Urea availability to farmers of Odisha in particular and India in general.
  • Currently, production of urea in the country is done by using pooled natural gas which comprises of domestic NG and imported LNG. Import of LNG is a costly affair and leads to spending valuable foreign exchange. Hence it is preferred that an indigenous raw material is used for the production of urea and other fertilizers in the country. Talcher Fertilizer Project is a step in this direction wherein indigenous coal in a mix of petcoke shall be used for the production of urea. 

Coal Gasification Technology: 

Coal gasification is a thermo-chemical process in which the gasifier's heat and pressure break down coal into its chemical constituents. The resulting “syngas” is comprised primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and occasionally other gaseous compounds.
Proponents of coal gasification say that syngas can be used for electricity production, used in energy-efficient fuel cell technology, or as a chemical “building blocks” for industrial purposes.

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