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Vedanta to restart Lanjigarh refinery on Monday after supply resumption

VAL will first start its captive co-generating plant (CPP) to generate steam, necessary for running the refinery

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

A week after a temporary shutdown of its alumina refinery at Lanjigarh, Odisha, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), buoyed by bauxite supplies of 40,000 tonnes from Bharat Aluminum Company's (Balco) Kawardah mines in Chhattisgarh, is readying to restart the plant on Monday.

VAL was forced to shut the refinery last Saturday due to the drying up of bauxite supplies.

"Nearly 40,000 tonnes of bauxite have reached our refinery premises. We have sourced the raw material from Balco's Kawardah mines. The bauxite stock will be enough to run our plant for five-six days if we operate it at 60-70 per cent capacity, the minimum threshold value of the plant”, a company source informed Business Standard.

Balco has two captive bauxite mines in Chhattisgarh- Kawardah and Mainpat, with a combined production capacity of 1.9 million tonnes an annum. The Mainpat mine is currently closed. VAL needs 10,000 tonnes of bauxite each day to run the plant at full capacity.

VAL will first start its captive co-generating plant (CPP) to generate steam, necessary to run the refinery. It may be noted that with the shutdown of the refinery, VAL had also closed its CPP last Saturday, as there was no consumption of steam.

Meanwhile, VAL is eyeing the bauxite supplies from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) after bagging the contract from the state PSU.

"The first bauxite shipment has been loaded by GMDC. We hope to get it within a few days. In all, we will get 90,000 tonnes of bauxite from GMDC”, said a source.

The company is also in talks with private firms of Gujarat and Maharashtra engaged in bauxite exports.

VAL had approached both Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci), seeking a ban on bauxite exports.

While VAL was struggling to keep its refinery operations afloat for want of bauxite, the raw material continued to be exported by private miners in Gujarat and Maharashtra due to better price realisations.

VAL has not been alloted any mining lease in Odisha and fully depends on externally-sourced bauxite to run its refinery. It had entered into a pact with state-controlled miner Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for supply of bauxite from Niyamgiri hills.

However, attempts to mine bauxite in the ecologically-sensitive hills were thwarted by the Union environment ministry which scrapped the stage-II forest clearance on August 24, 2010.

Around 6,500 people, including 550 employed directly, 5,000 engaged indirectly and 1,000 self-employed, in and around the plant depend on the VAL refinery for their livelihood. The company claimed to have spent Rs 150 crore on the development of the local area and community.

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First Published: Mon, October 22 2012. 00:40 IST