Engineering News

Nalco Plays Down Export Worries, Says Koraput Bauxite Refinery Won't Close
November 20, 2012

Even as the National Aluminium Company refinery is facing closure due to want of bauxite, the company chairman-cum-managing director, Ansuman Das, on Monday assured that there would be no problem in meeting the export commitments besides the demand of the smelter.

Stating that the company has commitments for dispatch of two more consignments off Vizag port this month, the CMD said that these two would be met with.

According to him, the nominated vessels for the cargo has already started for Vizag port. "We would reschedule the date for other commitments after we come to know the status of the mines by this month end". He also clarified that there is alumina stock to meet the demand of its smelter at Angul.

Nalco is facing crisis as the company's mining lease has expired on November 16. The company is not able to raise bauxite from its captive Panchpatmaili reserves in Koraput district due to want of forest clearances even though it has the mandate of deemed renewed for the mines. Nalco has now about 2.50 lakh tonnes of bauxite stock, which would be exhausted in 2-3 weeks.

If the mines do not become operational by the second week of December , the company may have to close down the refinery.

"There is no reason to be panic", assured the CMD. Asserting that there is no possibility of closing down the refinery due to want of bauxite, he said that the mines would be operational by the first week of December.

Das said that the company is waiting for the Temporary Works Permit (TWP) form the union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) to resume mining operation. "The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the MoEF is meeting on 26th and 27th of this month and we are quite hopeful that the TWP would be accorded to the Nalco's Panchpatmali bauxite mines", he said.

On being asked what would happen if the FAC failed to accord the TWP in its next meeting, the CMD said, " In worse case, we would ask the ministry to come out with a resolution or issue a circular allowing us to raise minerals pending the FAC approval."

Even though the 30-year mining lease was expiring in November, Nalco had applied for the renewal of the lease well in advance on October 30. As the state government is yet to recommend a renewal for another 20 years, the mining lease would continue as a deemed renewal lease. Nalco filed for issue of TWP in February for allowing it to continue with mining operation in an area of 158 hectares.

Source: The Financial Express

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