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Where is Rajaji? A think tank for Chennai Intellectual of rare qualities Editor's Notes No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing An enemy’s enemy is a friend Why this malaise in medical education? Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Welcome GST For whom the bell tolls? Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra The why of tax incentives Strengthen the base... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Kudos to NDTV... Modi storms Silicon Valley Wise Presidents TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Shale gas and its shallow future IPL - no surprise this scam More tributes to GR Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Engineering seats go abegging Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! The Swadeshi Trump Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan A rich pool of talent not utilised…. 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Return to king coal for urea...
THE SHRIRAM Group with assets under management of Rs 60,000 crore has been predominantly engaged in the financial services sector. Its flagship enterprise, Shriram Transport Finance Company Ltd., is the largest non-banking finance company, engaged in financing vehicles. Shriram City Union Finance is engaged in consumer financing and Shriram Life Insurance and Shriram General Insurance, in collaboration with Sanlam Insurance of South Africa, have been operating profitably.

T Shivaraman, Managing Director, Shriram EPC, pointed to plans to focus on manufacturing activities also. Already the group is involved in the manufacture of composite metals, wind turbines, cements and a range of engineering products. Shivaraman outlined plans to set up a coal-based fertilizer plant at Visakhapatnam. The plant will be based on gasification of imported coal that would be converted into urea.

In the 1960s, the Fertiliser Corporation of India was keen to set up production facilities based on coal gasification. By the end of that decade, FCI firmed up plans to set up three such plants at Ramagundam (AP), Talcher (Orissa) and Korba (then MP). With FCI’s severe financial crunch, the Korba plant was dropped. FCI continued its effort to proceed with the plants at the other two sites. The foundation stone for the Ramagundam plant was laid on 02 October 1970. IE produced a special issue for that occasion. The inadequate funding of this project and indifferent commitment led to both the plants turning sick almost right from inception and were later abandoned. Just think of the difference their success would have made post the 1971 oil crisis!

Shivaraman pointed to a technology for coal gasification well-established. Based on imported coal with low ash content, coal gas can be produced at costs that would be competitive with the price of natural gas and much cheaper than liquid petroleum feedstock, said Shivaraman.

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