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Nalco to set up Rs 15000cr aluminium complex

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The public sector aluminium major Nalco will set up a second greenfield integrated aluminium complex in Orissa at an investment of Rs 15,000 crore.
The complex will comprise a 1.5 million tonne alumina refinery, a smelter with installed capacity of 2.5-3 lakh tonne and a captive power plant.
For this purpose, Nalco has moved the Orissa government for allotment of bauxite deposit in the Gandhamardan hills in Sambalpur district. These mines are estimated to have 220 million tonne bauxite reserve.
"The application is now pending with the government and once we get the green signal, we will go for the detailed feasibility study of the project, " said CR Pradhan, chairman and managing director, Nalco.
The public sector unit had tried to mine bauxite in the Gandhamardan hills about two decades back. But it withdrew from the taks following a protracted agitation by locals on environment grounds.
"We are aware of the troubles and have worked out plans to safeguard environment and livelihood of the local people," Pradhan said.
Apart from Gandhamardan project, Nalco has also lined up other investment proposals, both in India and abroad.

It will set up an integrated alumina refinery and an aluminium smelter in Andhra Pradesh.

But the project is in a limbo because of the Andhra Pradesh government policy which stipulated that no mining lease can be granted to any company and the user instead has to buy minerals from the state-owned Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC), the sole developers of mines in the state. This has come in the way of Nalco's proposed venture as the Centre does not allow PSUs to invest in projects without captive mining lease.
Power being a major input for making aluminium, Nalco is actively exploring the possibilities of setting up a smelter in joint venture abroad where cheap power is available. It has identified three Gulf states, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, for the purpose and has conducted feasibility studies through Engineers India (EIL).
The company is also exploring the possibilities of setting up a coal-based power plant and a smelting facility in Indonesia.
Recently, a Nalco team visited Indonesia to survey the location and coal blocks available there.
"Ramping up the smelting capacity is part of our business expansion plan as we will have 1.2 million tonne excess alumina, following the second phase expansion", Pradhan said.

First Published: Sat, September 30 2006. 00:00 IST