Fertiliser majors waiting to make investments in new urea plants have reasons to cheer as the government has promised, subject to a ceiling, it would cover the additional cost from natural gas imports given the paucity of domestic gas.

Currently, the Asian spot price of the feedstock, which forms over three-fourths of the cost of production of fertilisers, is $14 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu), while the domestic gas is priced at $4.2/mmBtu. The government has said it would bear the difference in costs arising out of the fertiliser companies importing gas to meet their needs, to the extent the imported gas price is below $14/mmBtu.

Santosh Jadhav, 35, of Mothegaon village in Resode taluka would always spray pesticides thrice in his soyabean fields.

Joe C Mathew / New Delhi July 31, 2008, 5:46 IST

Indian fertiliser companies are planning to invest around $5 billion (Rs 21,000 crore) in overseas joint ventures over the next three years. These companies are in negotiations for 19 such ventures, said government officials. These joint ventures are aimed at sourcing nitrogenous, phosphatic fertilisers and other raw materials.