Projects and Development India Ltd (PDIL), was established as a technology wing of Fertiliser Corporation of India (FCI) in 1951 with an objective to obtain technological self-reliance. PDIL became an independent entity at the time of re-organisation of FCI in 1978. Its chairman and managing director Medithi Ravi Kanth spoke to Hindustan Times on a range of issues. Excerpts:
What has been the contribution of PDIL to the Indian fertiliser industry?
PDIL came into existence in 1950s and most of the fertiliser plants in India have utilised the expertise and experience of PDIL. PDIL not only engineers the plant for its clients but also execute projects to revamp, modernise and enhance capacities of these plants from time to time, besides advising on operational and technical difficulties faced by them. Over the last six decades, PDIL has rendered the entire gamut of engineering, project management, construction and commissioning supervision of Greenfield and expansion of 25 ammonia and 38 urea fertiliser plants.
PDIL has conducted feasibility studies, demand assessment studies, environmental impact assessment studies, etc for various clients. PDIL is also an approved third party inspection agency for Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and BHEL among others.
Which projects PDIL is handling currently?
We are undertaking revamp and capacity enhancement of a number of ammonia and urea projects. PDIL is carrying out detailed engineering for the first ammonia plant in India based on coal bed methane (CBM) feedstock. Besides consultancy services, PDIL is performing its sovereign duty by manufacturing catalysts for ammonia plants in the Sindri unit.
Can you elaborate on diversification/global business of PDIL?
We have done detailed engineering services for the then world's largest single stream gas-based ammonia plant of Burrup Fertiliser Pty Ltd. in Australia, which went on stream in 2006. Presently, PDIL is providing project management consultancy services for ammonia urea project of El Sharika El Djazairia El Omania Lil Asmida SpA (AOA) in Algeria. We have various engineering assignments for other overseas clients.
Despite lack of substantial investments in the fertiliser sector, how PDIL has managed to excel in financial terms?
PDIL's successful diversification in non-core areas and increasing overseas presence has helped it achieve exponential growth. The company has established its core competence in fertilisers as well as developed capabilities to work in other areas such as oil and gas refineries, power, housing and infrastructure sectors. The turnover of PDIL has more than doubled from Rs. 43.95 crore in 2004-05 to Rs. 111.20 crore in 2010-11. Profit after tax during this period has gone up from Rs. 10.06 crore to Rs. 21.02 crore. The company has been paying dividend continuously since 2007-08.
Can you tell us about future plans of the company?
PDIL is working to establishing its footprint globally. We have received an order for consultancy services for a fertiliser project in Nigeria and discussions are in advance stage for finalising consultancy assignments in other African countries. Recently, PDIL completed a consultancy assignment for Petrofac of Sharjah, UAE, for an ammonia urea fertilizer project. PDIL is also handling engineering services for JIFCO in Jordan.