Odisha Sun Times Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 27:
Odisha based public sector aluminium major National Aluminium Company (Nalco) today announced a Rs 387 crore dividend for 2013-14 fiscal.
Making an announcement to this effect at a press briefing after addressing the 33rd Annual General Body meeting of the company here, Nalco CMD Ansuman Das said that the aluminium market is picking up with the average price per tonne on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rising in recent months and currently hovering around $ 2000 per metric tonne (PMT) due to improvement in the supply-demand dynamics.
“The physical delivery premium is also high due to a long waiting period and a court battle looming over the metal due to warehouse rules on delivery”, he added.
He also said that the warehouses registered with the LME were witnessing bottlenecks in the last few years after metals such as aluminium were used as a financing tool.
Talking about the prospects for aluminium for 2014, Das said it appears to be positive with consumption to grow by 6 per cent as was the case in 2013.
Stating that creation of new capacity, despite shutdown of inefficient plants, could have a bearing on prices, he however, said that China, the largest consumer and producer of the metal, would continue to influence the market dynamics.
It is also being forecast that the aluminum market has finally turned the corner after years of being in surplus, he added.
Though the aluminium market is said to be structurally over supplied in the last five years, he said the production cuts are likely to push the market into deficit this year provided all the planned cuts are implemented.
Pointing out that Nalco has braced to overcome the challenges, Das said the company, after 33 years of operations, is now focusing on moving forward through further expansions, diversification and thereby enhancing sustainability coupled with stakeholders’ satisfaction.
“The company has embarked upon an ambitious growth plan involving substantial investment in the aluminium and energy sectors in the next 3 to 4 years to boost its productivity and profitability,” he remarked.
Referring to the growth, he said the company has completed the upgradation of 4th stream of alumina refinery from 21 lakh TPY (tonnes per year) to 22.75 lakh TPY and that of the bauxite mines from 6.3 million TPY to 6.825 million TPY at an estimated project cost of Rs 400 crore approximately.
He also informed about other initiatives of the company including alumina Refinery Project in Gujarat, second smelter and CPP in Sundargarh, caustic soda project at Dahej in Gujarat, aluminium and aluminium alloy conductor plant in the Angul Aluminium Park, overseas smelter in five countries, 14 MW wind power plant at Damanjodi, 100 MW wind power plant at a suitable location in India, solar power project at a suitable location in the country, rooftop solar power project at the Nalco Research & Technology Centre (NRTC) at Bhubaneswar and at Smleter and Township at Angul.