Small and medium-sized fertiliser industries are facing a shortage of sulphuric acid especially after the closure of Sterlite Copper Smelter Plant in Tuticorin that was the main producer, managing director of Coimbatore Pioneer Fertiliser D Vidyaprakash said Saturday. The Tamil Nadu government had in May ordered the permanent closure of the Sterlite unit of Vedanta group after 13 people, who demanded the closure citing environmental concerns, were killed in a police firing.
Owing to the shortage of the single superphosphate, a fertiliser, arising out of the low supply of sulphuric acid, many fertiliser units were affected, Vidyaprakash told reporters. He said the short supply of good quality acid has caused a rise in its cost by 300 per cent hitting production of the single super phosphate.
The managing director said the existing stock in Coimbatore Pioneer Fertiliser may meet the demand for 20 days. He said sourcing the acid from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh or northern States would double the cost because of freight charge.
Vidyaprakash said the government should intervene in the crisis and ensure a viable source of sulphuric acid.
(With inputs from agencies.)