State-run fertiliser maker RCF is planning to set up a subsidiary, RCF Videsh, that will specifically focus on ventures and assets abroad where feedstock natural gas is cheap or raw materials like phosphate are available in abundance.
The plan is on the lines of ONGC setting up ONGC Videsh.
"We are working on setting up a separate arm of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers (RCF)," a source said.
Senior officials both in RCF and the fertilizer ministry have confirmed that the proposal to set up RCF Videsh is under consideration.
Officials said there is a need for an state-run entity specifically focusing on offshore ventures as India imports about 90% of its requirement of phosphatic fertilisers like DAP (Diammonia phosphate).
Requirement of potassic fertiliser like MoP (Muriate of Potash) is almost entirely imported. Besides, about 35% urea demand is met through imports.
In the last few years, the government has been exploring options of either setting up a plant or get into some agreement with various countries including, Ghana, Togo, Belarus, Russia, Iran and Iraq to meet its fertiliser demands.
At present, Indian companies have joint ventures in five countries: IFFCO, Kribhco in Oman, IFFCO in Senegal, Spic in Jordan, Chambal in Morocco and Cormandel, GSFC in Tunisia.
Recently, RCF had shelved its $1-billion plan to set up a fertiliser plant in Ghana as the West African nation had denied assured supply of gas.
RCF has annual capacity of 2.5 mt of urea and 7 lakh tonnes of complex fertilisers and it is also working on increasing its urea capacity.