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Vedanta may reopen Lanjigarh refinery briefly

Refinery operation not sustainable without Odisha bauxite

Dilip Kumar Satapathy  |  Bhubaneswar 

Aluminium Ltd (VAL), which last week announced its intention to reopen the alumina refinery at (Odisha) by June-end, on Friday asserted the plant operation would not be sustainable unless the company gets from within the state.

“We expect to reopen the refinery by the end of this month. The company will be sourcing from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. We will get from Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco) mines in Chhattisgarh. Some raw material would also be coming from the private miners,” said S K Roongta, managing director, VAL, after meeting chief secretary B K Patnaik here on Friday.

Asked if can run the refinery uninterrupted, he said, “We can't run it on a sustained basis without getting from But, we will try to run the refinery for as long as we can. If we have adequate bauxite, we will run the refinery at full capacity”.

VAL’s refinery has been facing crunch since going on stream in 2007. The refinery was built on assurance of from nearby Niyamagiri hills. However, with Union ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) disallowing excavation at Niyamgiri, the company was forced to shut the refinery from December 5 last year.

Roongta said, has already invested Rs 60,000 crore on various projects in “VAL's refinery is the only industry operating in Kalahandi area. The refinery has offered direct and indirect employment to over 7000 people”, he added.

Group firm Balco's Kawardah mine is going to reopen soon. The mine will assure continuous supply of to the tune of 120,000 tonne every month. Some private miners in Gujarat have assured around 70,000 tonne of supplies for this month. To operate at full capacity, needed 300,000 tonnes of every month.

Responding to a query on whether got any assurance from the state government on alternative supplies, he said, “The state government has constituted an inter-ministerial committee for raw material linkage for industries. We have put up our representation before the committee. Now, the government has to decide on arranging for us from alternative sources.”

In an elaborate presentation before the inter-ministerial committee in February, had urged the state government to expedite processing of applications of state controlled miner Mining Corporation (OMC) for mining leases, particularly those falling under non-forest area.

has pointed out that a host of deposits in Rayagada district are falling under non-forest area- Pataramali, Malipadar, Sasbahumali, Tiiramali and Girimali to name a few.

The company has filed 26 applications for mining leases of which 14 are at PL stage and the balance 12 at ML stage. Pointing out that there are 10 deposits- Lanjigarh, Karlapat, Sijimali, Kutrumali, Sasbahumali, Majingamlai, Kissanmali, Hatimali, Karnapadikonda and Gandhamardan within 160 km radius of refinery, the company has suggested that the state government may allocate any of these deposits for long-term security of the plant.

First Published: Sat, June 08 2013. 00:45 IST