Bhubaneswar, 3 September: Facing acute shortage of alumina for its smelter at Jharsuguda, Vedanta Aluminium has asked the Odisha government to impress upon National Aluminium Company (Nalco) to sell surplus alumina to it.
“We earnestly request you to impress upon Nalco to start selling/allow participation of smelter companies located in Odisha, which would be treated as deemed exports for Nalco in its alumina tenders, so that the same can be utilised for increasing revenues for the exchequer, ensuring value addition and also generation of employment opportunities,” Vedanta Aluminium Managing Director S K Roongta said in a letter to Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.
Mr Rungta said: “The diversion of surplus alumina to Vedanta Aluminiums alumina smelter will generate extra revenue for Nalco at around Rs 200 crore annually over and above its export realisation, thus helping improve its financial balance sheet.”
As Vedanta Aluminium’s refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district is running at a depleted capacity of 30-40 per cent on outsourced bauxite from states such as Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. This has been hurting alumina availability for its smelter plants, Mr Roongta said.
Roongta also informed the state government that his company’s request to Nalco for allowing it to participate in the tender was not responded. “We are sorry to state that the request has not been entertained till date,” he said.  Meanwhile, the steel and mines department of Odisha government has sought views of Nalco on the proposal of Vedanta Aluminium.
Mr Roongta said VAL has two smelters at Jharsuguda. The 0.5-million tonne per annum (mtpa) smelter plant, supported by a 1,215 Mw captive power plant, produces downstream products such as wire rods and billets. This unit is in operation and is meeting its alumina requirement through imports.
The other smelting facility of 1.2 mtpa capacity has been installed as a special economic zone (SEZ) unit.
This is yet to be commissioned due to non-availability of alumina. Overall performance of Vedanta’s smelter was hit after Lanjigarh refining facility faced shutdown between December 5, 2012 and July 11, 2013 as bauxite sources dried up, sources said.     pti