Vedanta seeks nod to ex­pand Lanjigarh alu­mina refinery


Resource Digest - - CONTENTS -

Vedanta, the Lon­don-head­quar­tered me­tals and min­ing multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion (MNC), is look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­pand­ing its alu­mina refinery pro­duc­tion at Lanjigarh in Kala­handi district of Odisha be­yond the present cap of 4 mil­lion tonnes per an­num (mtpa). The refinery’s rated ca­pac­ity is 6 mtpa and Vedanta ex­pects to get all clear­ances to op­er­ate it at that level by 2020.

“We are hope­ful of re­ceiv­ing all ap­provals for ex­pand­ing the ca­pac­ity to 6 mtpa by then. But, to op­er­ate at that ca­pac­ity, a lot will de­pend on avail­abil­ity of lo­cal baux­ite sources. We are eval­u­at­ing the op­tions, like lo­cal sourc­ing ar­range­ments and par­tic­i­pat­ing in auc­tions of baux­ite as­sets. Avail­abil­ity of lo­cal baux­ite would be the key fac­tor, since we are in­cur­ring huge costs in trans­porta­tion,” said a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive. The com­pany is hop­ing for state govern­ment help on this.

“Odisha has abun­dant baux­ite re­sources and given the govern­ment's ini­tia­tives, (we are) con­fi­dent that baux­ite will be made avail­able in the short to medium term. The com­pany has en­tered into agree­ments with var­i­ous sup­pli­ers, in­ter­na­tion­ally and domestically, to en­sure avail­abil­ity. In the ini­tial years, the com­pany has as­sumed that baux­ite will be pur­chased from third party sup­pli­ers, till sourced from own mines,” Vedanta has said in its fi­nan­cial state­ment for the year ended March 31, 2017.

In 2016-17, the refinery pro­duced 1.2 mt, mark­ing a growth of 24 per cent. Dur­ing 2017-18, the com­pany will con­tinue to ex­pand op­er­a­tions. The main sources of baux­ite would be a mix of mines at Bharat Alu­minum Com­pany, a sis­ter con­cern, and the bal­ance from other sources, in­clud­ing im­ports.

In FY17, Vedanta’s to­tal baux­ite re­quire­ment was pegged at 3.4 mt. Cap­tive mines contributed 31 per cent and the com­pany ar­ranged 23 per cent from do­mes­tic sources. Im­port formed the re­main­ing 46 per cent.

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