The book benchmarks the fertiliser industry on the whole, as well as individual plants. It highlights the best practices in the hope that they will be emulated, and underlining poor practices so that they would be discarded.
It examines every plant in great detail. The industry will have to play a key role in helping the world deal with two big environmental challenges: nitrogen pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. How will this be achieved? What direction should the policy environment take? How should the industry go about it? The rating raises and answers these questions as well.
India has a thriving fertilizer manufacturing industry, with government, cooperative and private players owning more than 30 units spread across the length and breadth of the country. Urea is the most important fertilizer, constituting 80 per cent of India's total fertilizer consumption.
Fertilizer manufacturing industry is the biggest consumer of natural gas in India. The country's domestic supply is able to meet only half of it. The rest is imported.But the fertilizer industry is trudging ahead carrying a bundle of contradictions.
Urea is cheap because it is heavily subsidized. The subsidy burden on the Government has been growing exponentially over the years. Every aspect, from production to transportation and distribution, is under close government purview.
This arrangement benefits neither the government nor the industry that is left with little financial autonomy and wherewithal and even lesser incentive to improve its environmental performance.
Within this larger paradigm, individual players are employing various strategies to deal with the situation but are struggling to improve their environmental performance.