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Nalco may enter wind power

Dillip Satapathy  |  Bhubaneswar 

Public sector blue chip firm, National Aluminium Company (Nalco), the largest manufacturer and exporter of aluminium in the country, proposes to make a foray into wind power generation.
The company is in talks with the Orissa Renewable Energy Development (OREDA) and Suzlon Energy to set up a wind power plant near its alumina refinery at Damanjodi in Koraput district of Orissa.
The company proposes to set up the wind mills on the Panchpatmali Hills near Damanjodi, where it currently mines bauxite. Besides, the location, situated at a high altitude, enhances the chances of getting better volume and velocity of wind, B L Bagra, director finance, Nalco, said.
OREDA has started collecting data on the volume and velocity of wind on the Panchpatmali Hills during different seasons to asses viability and generation capacity. The work started three months back and will continue for another four to five months.
Suzlon Energy, manufacturing wind mill equipment, could set up the project on a turnkey basis or accept a stake for better management as Nalco lacks the expertise in operating wind mills. Both options are open, sources said.
The alumina refinery currently requires about 60 mw of power daily, which is being met through in-house generation using coal and waste heat.
The proposed wind power project can meet the electricity requirement of the refinery in part or full, said Bagra.
He said the generation capacity of the environment-friendly power plant will depend on the availability and velocity of wind at the location.
Nalco, at present, has a 8x120 mw captive power plant at Angul which feeds power to its aluminium smelter. However, it is facing a crisis due to short supply of coal from the Mahanadi Coal fields. Hence, the proposed wind power project may cut down the company's dependence on thermal power to an extent while giving it access to a clean source of energy.

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First Published: Tue, August 07 2007. 00:00 IST