Gujarat-based Adani Group, known to be looking at investment opportunities in Jharkhand, today said it was keen to set up coal-based conversion plants in the state and indicated its preference for land in Dhanbad district.
Group CEO Rajesh Jha, who was in Ranchi today, met chief secretary Rajiv Gauba and other members of a high-powered committee of senior government officials at Project Building, and made a presentation on the company’s proposals.
“We have proposed to sign an A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is an agreement between two (bilateral) or more (multilateral) parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used in cases where parties either do not imply a legal commitment or in situations where the parties cannot create a legally enforceable agreement... with the state government to set up plants which would be mainly for coal-to-methanol, coal-to-SNG (substitute natural gas) and coal-to-fertiliser projects,”
He added the chief secretary took a keen interest in company presentations.
Jha also indicated that the group might also take part in the bidding process once the Centre invited offers to set up a power plant in Sindri and revive the fertiliser plant that was shut down in December 31, 2002.
Adani Group officials visited Sindri in March to assess the condition of the factory premises of the closed unit belonging to Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI), fuelling speculation about its interests in the revival project.
According to an industry department official, the Ahmedabad-headquartered group had indicated its preference for around 5,000 acres in Dhanbad district that would offer it easy access to coal.
Moreover, the Sindri unit is also in Dhanbad district.
During the recent coal block allocations, the Adani Group picked up Jitpur coal block in Santhal Pargana – not too far from Dhanbad. On May 21, the Union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the revival of the closed FCI unit in Sindri with an investment of Rs 6,000 crore.
Earlier, the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers had prepared a fresh revival plan for the unit after Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), which had initially pledged Rs 35,000 crore for the project, decided to pull out.
Now, the ministry is planning to float an open tender, inviting both private and public companies to offer bids for reviving the FCI unit and building a power plant in Sindri town.
At today’s meeting, chief secretary Gauba also discussed a project of Gas Authority of India (GAIL) project to lay a natural gas pipeline between Jagdishpur in Uttar Pradesh and Haldia in Bengal.
About 174km of the proposed pipeline would cut through Bokaro, Giridih, Dhanbad and Ranchi in Jharkhand.
GAIL’s executive director (marketing) A.K. Manchanda was also present at the meeting, attended, among others, by state mines secretary S.K. Satpathy, revenue and land reforms secretary K.K. Soan, law secretary B.B. Mangalmurty, industry secretary Himani Pande and senior officials of forests, energy and industry departments.