IFFCO to set up titanium project

Titanium sponge is an essential material for the aerospace industry
Nellore: Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (Iffco) is all set to establish a titanium project to produce titanium sponge at its Kisan SEZ located at Racharlapadu in Kodavalur mandal of SPSR Nellore district.The Iffco managing dir-ector, Dr U.S. Awasthi, has submitted a proposal to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu last week to setup the project.
Iffco has earmarked 400 acre in the SEZ and it will invest '2,500 crore on the project which can provide direct employment to 1,000 people.
The titanium sponge is essential material for the aerospace industry and it is also used for manuf-acture of all types of pai-nts, glazed papers, plasti-cs, printed fabrics and fl-ooring materials. Iffco identified a Ukrainian firm for technology and engineering for the project. The raw material for the production is limonite and it will be extracted from beach sand. According to sources in Iffco, ilmenite is the major feed stock for the titanium project and it is available aplenty in the beach sand obtainable along costal stretches of Odisha, AP, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Out of estimated 514 million tonne reserves of ilmenite in India, 171 MT are in AP according to a study. Ilmenite production in India is around 1 MT annually and Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Odisha are the major producers as of now.Permission from the state government for the mining of ilmenite is the key for setting up the project. Iffco officials say that working group of 12th Five Year Plan has recommended for simplification and facilitation of grant of concessions and land acquisition to facilitate exploitation of minerals available in the beach sand.
Iffco has plans to locate its ilmenite mining unit in Srikakulam district. Beach sand contains only six to eight per cent minerals and these minerals will be taken away and more than 90 per cent of beach sand will be put back.Top soil will be placed back and vegetation will be re-established as it was before mining of the area. Moreover the mining does not destroy the topography of the area mined out as in other forms of mining. During their meeting with the CM, the Iffco authorities have requested the state government for early bidding process for allocation of ilmenite mine based on competitive bidding.
( Source : dc correspondent )
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