Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group owned Hindalco Industries, is looking at alumina production of one million tonne in 2014-15 from its refinery at Kashipur in south Odisha's Rayagada district.
The refinery commenced operation six months back and it produced 0.3 million tonne alumina in the last fiscal.
"At present, only one unit of the plant is operating at 90 per cent of its total 0.7 million tonne per annum (mtpa) capacity. The second unit of the plant with the same capacity is scheduled to go on stream from June," said a senior officer at UAIL. The company has projected output of 1.5 million tonne of alumina in 2016-17.
Meanwhile, the company has decided to export its products to West Asia countries. In the first phase, it would export around 20,000 tonne alumina from the next month. The exports would be made after catering to the needs of Hindalco's smelter plant at Lapanga in Odisha, which has started operation about a month ago, he said.
After struggling hard for over two decades, UAIL started its trial production last year. But it is yet to achieve its full capacity. The alumina refinery has a 90 MW co-generation plant along with captive bauxite mines at Baphilimali-spread over Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, located about 17 km from the plant site. The bauxite mines have a capacity of 4.2 mtpa. UAIL's Rs 7,000-crore refinery project was in the line of fire of the environmentalists and the project affected people for over two decades.
The refinery was conceived in 1992 to tap the huge deposits of bauxite in the area to produce alumina.
Worried over the inordinate delay in implementation of the refinery unit, the two original joint venture partners- Tata Sons and Norsk Hydro, had pulled out of the project earlier, while another foreign partner, Alcan sold its stake in 2007.