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ASL revives its coal-based green fuels-cum-chemicals project with Rs 1 lakh crore tag
 (Image Courtesy: Adani Synenergy Ltd)
Thinking Big Doing Better’. Adani Group is living up to its new motto that dazzles on the latest annual reports of its major companies.
Take the case of Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL). AEL’s 100%-owned subsidiary, Adani Synenergy Limited (ASL), has scaled up exponentially its three-year old proposal (https://goo.gl/vqPdg2) to produce green fuels & petrochemicals from coal. It would import coal from Adani group’s mines in Australia.
It has doubled CTP’s products portfolio to 10 products with a huge ramp-up in manufacturing capacity.
ASL has accordingly hiked cost of its coal to polygeneration (CTP) project from Rs 24,000 crore in August 2014 to Rs 1 lakh crore. Incidentally, the cost of Modiji’s bullet train project is Rs 1.08 lakh crore. 
The bond between Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now a new, common tag of Rs 1 lakh crore! Mr Adani and Mr. Modi, well-known friends, already share the ‘think big’ vision.   
To be implemented in 48 months, this unique, import substitution project at Mudra in Gujarat has the potential to become flag-bearer of ‘Make In India’ initiative, assuming it is not sabotaged by environmental activists in India and Australia.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) had delisted ASL's version.1 of the project on 9th November 2016 from its list of pending projects awaiting first-stage environment approval. 
Delisting followed apparent lull after MOEFCC's Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) for Industry-2 (chemical-based industries) decided on 29th October 2014 to seek an inspection report of the project site. It is located within the area of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZL) and thus does not require public hearing.  
EAC had decided that a three-member sub-committee, along with ministry official, would visit the project site keeping in view “the size of the project and involvement of environmental impact on larger area”.
It also decided to ask ASL “to prepare toposheet with suitable scale reflecting all important features within 10 km radius of the project and submit the same before the site visit is undertaken”. MOEFCC communicated this decision to ASL on 29th December 2014. The letter stated that toposheet is required before the site visit. 
The letter added: “The proposal was deferred till the desired information is submitted. It is, therefore, requested to kindly submit the above mentioned information on top priority to enable us to take further action in the matter”.
It is not clear whether ASL submitted this information to the Ministry. ASL has, in fact, made no mention about the delisted proposal in its new project proposal submitted earlier this month. It is thus starting on a clean slate. 
The revised project would now produce 26 million metric standard cubic metres of per day (MMSCMD) of synthetic/substitute Natural Gas (SNG). This is roughly equivalent to one-fourth of gas extracted from domestic oil and gas fields. The revised SNG capacity is more than four times the 6.4 MMSCMD output mooted in the original proposal.
ASL would pit SNG against imported gas, which currently accounts for more than 40 percent of total gas consumption in the country. According to pre-feasibility report (PFR) on CTP prepared last month by ASL, “cost of SNG produced from Imported Australian Coal is quite competitive to RLNG (regassified liquefied natural gas)”.
CTP will also produce another green fuel, Dimethyl ether (DME) that was not envisaged in the original proposal. It will produce 1 million tonne per annum (mtpa) of DME. It can be used as diesel or LPG substitute or blended with LPG or diesel. DME is neither produced nor used as fuel in India at present. 
PFR says: “think tank NITI Aayog is advocating DME blending in LPG among others. This could push the DME demand significantly. India’s current LPG consumption is around 21 MMTPA and blending 20% in LPG requires around 4 Million tons DME”.
The project would produce DME from methanol. It would produce a whopping 5 mtpa of methanol as compared to 1.65 mtpa mooted earlier. Of the 5mpta output, 3.7 mtpa would be consumed in-house for production downstream chemicals in addition to DME. The balance 1.3 mtpa would be sold in the domestic and overseas markets. 
Methanol is not only a building block for several chemicals but also a perfect blend for petrol. Both methanol and DME can thus help reduce the demand for imported crude-derived fuels. 
The project would require 35 mtpa of Australian coal, which is more than twice the quantity mooted for the delisted project. It would consume 2.2 mtpa of domestic limestone, which would be primarily supplied by Adani Cementation Limited (ACL). It is a group company which has secured a limestone mine through bidding process in Gujarat. 
CTP would need 92000 tonnes per day (tpd) of oxygen that would be supplied by air separation plant, an integral part of project. 
CTP complex would need 400 million liters per day of water. APSEZL will supply this from its desalination plant. The project would require 2600 MW of power. Of this, 2000 MW would be supplied by APSEZL. The balance 600 MW would be produced by CTP in-house from process steam. Under the original proposal, CTP was to generate 320 MW in-house. 
CTP would also produce 1.1 mtpa of ammonia, the building block for nitrogenous and complex fertilizers. It is imported in a big way by manufactures of diammonium phosphate (DAP) & other nitro phosphate fertilizers. 
The other products that would flow from the complex are: 1 mtpa of acetic acid, 650,000 tpa of polyethylene and polypropylene, 600,000 tpa of Mono Ethylene Glycol and 130,000 tpa of sulphur.   
ASL has dropped plan to produce naphtha and diesel at CTP.
(Image Courtesy: ASL's Pre- Feasibility Report)                                                     
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