The construction of the 1.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery project of Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a Aditya Birla group company, at Doraguha, near Kasipur in south Orissa’s Rayagada district is set to be commissioned in July 2011.
The implementation of the alumina refinery project of UAIL had suffered a delay of 18 years due to the protests by the project affected people (PAP) and the environmentalists.
The construction work is now going on in full-swing and if it goes on at this pace, the project is expected to be completed in July 2011, said a senior official of the UAIL.
Around 40 per cent of the work has already been completed and the equipment ordered for the plant to produce 1.5 mtpa of alumina in the first phase has already reached the Vishakhapatnam port, said S K Mishra, chief executive of UAIL.
Around Rs 7000 crore is being invested on the project.The alumina produced by UAIL at its Doraguha plant will feed the smelter plants being set up by Hindalco Industries at Rengali (Orissa) and Mahana (Madhya Pradesh). Both these aluminium smelter projects are now under construction.
Meanwhile, the disbursement of additional compensation to the PAP of its alumina refinery project at Doraguha, is going on and around 50 per cent of them have already taken the ex-gratia compensation.
“In addition to the earlier payment, the affected people will be paid an additional Rs one lakh per acre. The additional amount is being given to the affected people as per the decision of the state government”, said a company official.“While in 1995-96, the affected people were given Rs 30,000 per acre, Rs 80,000 extra was paid to them in 2005-06. This time the government had directed the company to pay additional Rs one lakh per acre to the affected people”, sources said.
The Utkal Alumina refinery project was conceived in 1992 to tap the huge bauxite deposits in the area and produce alumina. The project had evoked stiff protests from the enviroZZnmentalists and the affected people for the past 18 years.
Worried over the implementation of the refinery unit, the two original joint venture partners- Tata and Norsk Hydro, had pulled out of the project earlier while another foreign partner, Alcan had sold its stake in 2007.