Chemical fertilizers played vital role in the success of Green Revolution in India and consequent self-reliance in food-grain production, the Government of India has been consistently pursuing policies conducive to increase the availability and consumption of fertilizers in the country. The country has achieved near self-sufficiency in production capacity of urea with the result that India could substantially manage its requirement of nitrogenous fertilizers through the indigenous industry.In case of phosphate fertilizers, nearly 50 per cent of domestic requirement is met through indigenous production, even for that, the raw materials and intermediates for are largely imported. As for Potash (K) since there are no viable sources/reserves in the country, its entire requirement is met through imports.
Growth of Fertilizer Industry
The industry made a very humble beginning in 1906, when the first manufacturing unit of Single Super Phosphate (SSP) was set up in Ranipet near Chennai with an annual capacity of 6000 MT. The Fertilizer and Chemicals Travancore of India Ltd. (FACT) at Kochi in Kerala and the Fertilizers Corporation of India (FCI) in Sindri in Bihar (now Jharkhand) were the first large sized fertilizers plants set up in the 40's and 50's with a view to establishing an industrial base to achieve self-sufficiency in food-grains. Subsequently, green revolution in the late 60's gave an impetus to the growth of fertilizer industry in India and the 70’s and 80's then witnessed a significant addition to the fertilizer production capacity.
Public Sector Undertakings
• The Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL): Incorporated on 1 January, 1961, FCI was re-organized along with National Fertilizers Corporation Ltd (NFC) with effect from 1.4.1978 into five companies namely, FCI, NFL, Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Ltd. (HFC), Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd. (RCF) and Projects and Development India Ltd. (PDIL). Following re-organisation, FCI comprised four units located at Sindri (Jharkhand), Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Ramagundam (Andhra Pradesh)and Talcher (Odisha), with a total annual capacity of 5.87lakh MT of nitrogen besides and abandoned project at Korbe (Chhattisgarh)
• Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited (HFCL): It was incorporated on 14th March, 1978 as a result of the reorganization of the erstwhile Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL), and NFL Group of Companies. The HFCL
comprised Barauni unit (Bihar), Durgapur unit and Haldia Project (West Bengal) and Namrup Unit (Assam). The Namrup Unit was hived off from 2002 to form a separate entity with the name of Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Ltd (BVFCL)
• Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited (RCF): It was incorporated as a separate company on 6th March 1978 as a result of reorganization of the erstwhile Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited. At the time of its formation, the company had only one operating unit at Trombay (near Mumbai) and two major projects under implementation viz; Trombay IV and Trombay-V expansion. The gas based Thal-Vaishet fertilizer complex about 100 Kms from Trombay, was later implemented by RCF and it commenced commercial production in 1985.
• National Fertilizers Limited (NFL): It was incorporated on 23 August 1974 for setting up two nitrogenous plants, at Bathinda (Punjab) and Panipat (Haryana) with LSHS as fee stock, each having urea production capacity of 5.11lakh MT per annum. Consequent upon the reorganization of the FCI, the Nangal Unit (including Nangal Expansion Project) of FCI was also transferred to NFL in 1978.
• Projects and Development India Limited (POlL): Projects and Development India Limited (PDIL) and erstwhile Division of the Fertilizers, Corporation of India (FCIL) were registered as a separate company in March, 1978. The company has its registered office at Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
• The Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT): It was incorporated in 1943. In 1947 FACT started production of Ammonium Sulphate with an installed capacity of 50,000 MT per annum at Udyoga mandal, near Cochin. In the year 1980, FACT became a PSU and towards the end of 1982, the Government of India became the major shareholder. From a modest beginning, FACT has grown and diversified into a multi-division multifunction organization with basic interest in manufacture and marketing of fertilizers and petro-chemicals, engineering consultancy and design and in fabrication and erection of industrial equipments.
• Madras Fertilizers Limited (MFL): It was incorporated in December 1906 as a Joint Venture between GOI and AMOCO India Incorporation of USA (AMOCO) with GOI holding 51 per cent of the equity share capital in 1985, AMOCO disinvested their shares, which were purchased by GOI and NIOC in their respective proportions on 22 July 1985.
• Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited (BVFCL): It has two operating units at Namrup Assam. Its corporate office is also situated at Namrup. The other establishments of the company are liaison offices at NOIDA and Kolkata and Marketing Offices at Guwahati, Siliguri and Patna.
• FCI-Aravali Gypsum and Mineral India Limited (FAGMIL): It was incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 as a Public Sector Undertaking on 14.2.2003 after being hived off the Jodhpur Mining Organization (JMO) of Fertilizers Corporation of India Limited (FCIL).