The global crash in aluminium prices, triggered by overproduction in China, is forcing Indian companies to shut down operations. The solution may lie in recycling the metal
O9, the Bharat N SEPTEMBER Aluminium Company Ltd (balco) informed the labour commissioner that it had started shutting down its rolling plant at Korba in Chhattisgarh as aluminium prices had crashed in the international market and there was shortage of bauxite ore, the raw material for aluminium. The decision triggered protests among plant workers, who have moved the labour court against the closure. balco is co-owned by Sterlite Industries India Ltd, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, and the Union government. Sources in the company say Vedanta is also planning to shut down its Lanjigarh aluminium refinery plant in Odisha by December.Closure of the plants would render 1,750 people jobless.
The local people, who had parted with their land to set up Vedanta’s refinery, held a protest on September 3 against the shutting down of the refinery.They also wrote a letter to the state government and Vedanta asking them not to shut operations. According to Uday Kumar, president of Vedanta Land- Losers Association,the plant had given jobs to almost 1,000 people who had lost their land to the company.
The situation is no different in other aluminium refinery plants in the country.While Hindalco Industries Ltd of Aditya Birla Group is incurring heavy losses, the Union government has deferred its disinvestment plan for two plants of the National Aluminium Company Ltd (nalco) till next year.Officials of the Union ministry of mines (mom) told DownTo Earth that the decision was taken after nalco’s share prices fell sharply at the Bombay Stock Exchange on September 7.At the current market rate,the 12.5 per cent stake sale in nalco would fetch
865 crore,roughly half of what it would have fetched in September 2014,they say.
This perilous situation, says the Aluminium Association of India (aai), has arisen because aluminium prices have hit a six-year low due to overproduction in China. According to Goldman Sachs’research team, aluminium prices have dropped by 40 per cent from US $2,662 in April 2011 to
The situation is bound to worsen as China starts exporting three
million tonnes of aluminium stashed in its warehouses at an
even cheaper rate