Aluminium major NALCO on 28 September 2013 rejected a request to sell surplus alumina to bauxite starved Vedanta for its smelter at Jharsuguda. It stated that it was against the Navaratna PSU's policy to supply it in domestic market. As per the policy adopted by Nalco's board, the company does not sell either bauxite or alumina to other companies in the domestic market.
Vedanta had recently sought the Odisha state government's intervention to impress upon Nalco to sell its surplus alumina for its smelter at Jharsuguda. Stating that Nalco was exporting surplus alumina of over one million ton a year, Vedanta suggested that the diversion of this surplus alumina for VAL’s alumina smelter will generate extra revenue for NALCO at around Rs 200 crore annually over and above its export realization, thus helping improve its financial balance sheet.
As VAL's (Vedanta Aluminum Limited) refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district is running at a depleted capacity of 30-40 percent on outsourced bauxite from states such as Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, this has been hurting alumina availability for its smelter plants.
VAL has two smelters at Jharsuguda. The 0.5-million ton per annum (mtpa) smelter plant, supported by a 1215 Mw captive power plant, produces downstream products such as wire rods and billets. This unit was in operation and meeting its alumina requirement through imports.
The other smelting facility of 1.2 mtpa capacity was installed as a special economic zone (SEZ) unit. This was yet to be commissioned due to non-availability of alumina. Overall performance of VAL’s smelter was hit after Lanjigarh refinery faced shutdown between 5 December 2012 and 11 July 2013 as bauxite sources dried up.
When: 28 September 2013