Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Oct 28:
Vedanta Group chairman Anil Agrawal today said the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured him of bauxite to run its refinery and smelter plants in Odisha within three to four months.
“The Chief Minister said the government is committed to runing the plants and assured to provide bauxite to run the plants. The chief minister said you have set up the plants without having bauxite linkage while others prefer to set up plants only after getting raw material linkage,” said Agrawal after meeting the Chief Minister here today.
He said the government has developed 2-3 deposits and would provide mines to the company within three-four months to operate the plants. “They will discuss with the Central government and work with Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) to provide raw materials to run the plants,” said the Vedanta chairman.
The company’s refinery plant at Lanjigarh and the smelter plant at Jharsuguda are running at 25% of their installed capacity due to shortage of raw material.
Agrawal said that the Chief Minister had also assured to resolve the power purchase issue to run the 1.25 MTPA new aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda, which is lying idle in want of power, within 15-20 days.
“We have set up plants to produce 20 lakh tonnes of aluminium with an investment of Rs 60,000. The plants require 3,600 MW of power and we have already set up the power plants. We want to use all the power generated by us. The state government has assured that they will give clearance and allow us to use 3,600 MW of power to run the plants,” said the Vedanta chairman.
Independent power producer (IPP) Sterlite Energy, a subsidiary of Vedanta Group, runs a 2,400 MW (4×600 MW) thermal power station at Jharsuguda and a 1200 MW Captive Power Plant. At present, it is giving 600 MW from its IPP to the state government and selling the remaining 1800 MW to various Grids. However, it wants to use the 1800 MW power to run its 1.25 MTPA smelter plant.
When asked about the delay in ensuring raw material linkage to the plants, he said, “Dil to dukhta hai ki hum ye plants puri tarah nehni chala paa rahe hain Rs 60,000 core invest karne ke babjud. (We are pained that we are not able to run the plants at full capacity even after investing Rs 60,000 crore). However, we hope that the government would provide raw material linkage to run the plants.”