Investment proposals of more than Rs 73,000 crore in steel, aluminium and power sectors are awaiting approval of the chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
The High Level Clearance Authotity (HLCA) headed by the chief minister is yet to take any decision on these proposals which were recommended by the State Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) to HLCA.
Projects awaiting the chief minister’s nod include those proposed by National Thermal Power Corporation (Rs18,000 crore), L&T-Dubal (Rs 19,668 crore) and Lanco Babanh Power (Rs 11,402 crore) among others.
Some of the proposals pending for approval at the highest level were cleared by the SLSWCA way back in 2007 and 2008, sources said.
The SLSWCA in its meeting held in March 2007 cleared the Rs 4232.54 crore investment proposal of Ashapura Minechem Ltd for setting up of a 0.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery and 0.15 mtpa smelter with 300 Mw captive power plant (CPP) in Koraput district.
The fate of L&T’s proposal to set up an alumina-aluminium complex at Kusumsila near Rayagada and Vadrapali near Sambalpur in joint venture with Dubal is still uncertain.
Sources said, the HLCA is yet to consider the Rs 8,250 crore investment proposal of Orissa Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (OTPCL) to set up a 2000 Mw coal based power plant at Rengali.
It is also yet to take up the Lanco Babandh Power’s application to enhance the MoU capacity from 1320Mw to 2640 Mw at Kurunti and Kharagprasad in Dhenkanal district.
The Rs 3101.86 crore proposal of Tata Sponge Iron to set up a 1.5 mtpa steel making capacity at Beliapada near Joda, recommended by the SLSWCA in May this year, is also pending for approval by the chief ministers.
Besides, two large investment proposals of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) and Hindalco Industries are yet to be cleared, sources said.
Though VAL had proposed to expand the capacity of its existing refinery at Lanjigarh from 1 mtpa to 6 mtpa, smelter plant capacity from 0.25 mtpa to 1.6 mtpa and the captive power plant (CPP) capacity from 674 Mw to 1350 Mw with a combined investment of Rs 37,440 crore, it was cleared in part by the SLSWCA.
The SLSWCA meeting held in May this year had recommended for a smelter capacity of 0.5 mtpa as the company had already achieved this level while approving the capacity expansion of the CPP to 1350 Mw without any increase in the refinery capacity.
Similarly, Hindalco Industries Ltd (Aditya Aluminium) had proposed to expand its alumina refinery capacity to 1.5 mtpa from 1 mtpa and expansion of its smelting capacity to 0.72 mtpa from 0.26 mtpa along with an increase in the CPP capacity to 1650 Mw from 650 Mw.
SLSWCA has only recommended a marginal increase in the smelting capacity from 0.26 mtpa to 0.36 mtpa and CPP capacity from 650 Mw to 950 Mw to the HLCA. Partial approval of these proposals was officially attributed to the non-availability of bauxite linkage and pending the final report of the environmental carrying capacity study taken up by the Orissa State Pollution Control Board.
That apart, the SLSWCA in its meeting on 26 August 2009 also recommended two projects of Rs 14,275 crore to HLCA. The Rs 7988 crore proposal of JR Powergen Private Ltd to set up a 1980 Mw power plant at Kishorenagar near Angul and BRG Energy Systems’s proposal to set up a 1320 Mw power plant at an investment of Rs 6287 crore at Bhapur in Nayagarh district are yet to be approved by HLCA.