National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), a public sector enterprise of the Government of India was incorporated in 7th January of the year 1981. A Navratna status company is Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex, encompassing bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port operations in both domestic and also export. Commissioned during 1985-87, Nalco has emerged to be a star performer in production and export of alumina and aluminium, and more significantly, in propelling a self-sustained growth.
At Panchpatmali hills of Koraput district in Orissa, the company started its Bauxite Mines during November of the year 1985. After a year, during September of the year 1986, in the picturesque valley of Damanjodi in Koraput district, the company formed the Alumina Refinery. Aluminium Smelter of the company at Angul in Orissa was came to existence since early 1987. The Company had commenced the Alumina export and Aluminium export in January and September respectively during the year 1988. NALCO signed a project co-operation agreement with Hydro Aluminium AG, Norway in the year 1993 to carry out a joint study for feasibility of setting up a 100% export oriented aluminium plant of 0.9 million tonnes per annum capacity. In the year 1994, the Company made collaboration with various government agencies with aim of set up the facilities for extraction of gallium metal with an annual capacity of 950 kg at Damanjodi unit. During the year 1995, Smelter plant at Angul was undertaken with a capacity of 26000 TPY of strip casting facility, a special Alumina plant at Damanjodi was undertaken with a capacity of 20,000 TPY, a 10,000 TPY detergent grade Zeolite (Zeolite-A) plant at Damanjodi was undertaken and a 1000 Kg. per annum 5 N purity Gallium plant at Damanjodi based on indigenous technology was undertaken. The Company had explored the possibility of diversification during the year 1996 in terms of little other value added products such as special grade, alumina, Zeolite and aluminium cast wheel etc. in the year 1997, NALCO made a technical collaboration with Aluminum Pechiney (AP), France, the largest integrated aluminium company in Asia and also in the same year, the company had opened a stockyard at Bhiwandi in Thane district.
NALCO bagged the top export award of Chemical and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (Capexil) for the year 1997-98. The Company established new records in bauxite mining, alumina production and exports during the year 1999. NALCO made its footprint in detergent business also in the year 2001. NALCO received the Niryat Shree award for two straight years, 2000-01 and 2001-02 from the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) for excellence in exports. Alumina Refinery of the company was expanded to 15,75,000 TPA and dedicated to the Nation State Pollution in the year 2002. During the year 2003, the company had commissioned one unit of Captive Power Plant with a capacity of 120 MW and 120 pots of Smelter with a capacity to produce 57,500 MT of aluminium per year. During the year 2005, the company had inked an agreement with NMDC. During the year 2005-06, the company has enhanced its installed capacity of Special Grade Alumina (Calcined Alumina) & Aluminium Strips-RPU by 7000 Tonnes & 26000 Tonnes respectively.
The Company had allotted 'UTKAL-E' Coal Block in the year 2006-07, having a reserve of around 70 million tonnes for its new units at Captive Power Plant by the Government of India. NALCO had embarked on an ambitious growth plan under 2nd phase expansion project at an estimated cost of Rs.5, 003 crore. As at January 2008, NALCO had inked a preliminary deal with the Indonesian government for a USD 3.2 billion project to build an aluminium smelter and power plant on Sumatra Island. The company is looking at building the smelter with an annual capacity of 250,000 tons in the first phase. It also plans to build the coal-fired power plant with a capacity to generate 750 megawatts of electricity. In February 2008, Andhra Pradesh government approved the company's 1.5 million ton aluminum refinery and a 2.57-lakh ton smelter in Andhra Pradesh. In April of the year 2008, the company had stepped into a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Bharat Earth Movers (BEML) for production of aluminium rails and wagons and, subsequently, aluminium rail coaches and metro coaches. NALCO had short listed coalmines in Sumatra Island in May of the year 2008, to secure supplies for its proposed 750 MW power plant in Indonesia.
During May of the year 2008, NALCO conferred the Navratna status. NALCO is planning to set up a 250,000 to 300,000 ton aluminum smelter in a Gulf country by 2009-2010 and is in talks with Qatar, Oman and Abu Dhabi for its smelter.