Vedanta seeks nod to expand Lanjigarh alumina refinery
COMPANY KEEN ON RAISING CAPACITY FROM EXISTING 4 MTPA TO 6 MTPA BY 2020
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.