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Why does Australia's Covid Commission support a fertilizer plant as its main recovery project?

When the Daily Telegraph reported last week that a fertilizer factory in Narrabri, promoted by a businessman from Western Australia, led the list of projects promoted by the Covid National Coordination Commission, there was some surprise.

Vikas Rambal and Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilizers are not exactly familiar names, and the controversial Narrabri coal gas project – which would supply the cheap gas on which the fertilizer project depends – has yet to be approved by the New South Wales government.

The commission considered fertilizers to be one of the biggest opportunities, along with petrochemicals and methanol, Covid's executive committee chairman Nev Power, former Fortescue Metals' chief executive, told Telegraph.

"An innovative idea," Energy Minister Angus Taylor told the Telegraph in response to Power's disclosure of the Perdaman project.

"I like to think of the other side of Covid-19 as a gas recovery," said Taylor.

The reason why Power chose to promote this project in its quest to rebuild the nation is not clear.

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