Vedanta Aluminium resumes operation after bauxite availability

 After being shut for nine days due to lack of bauxite, the alumina refinery of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) at Lanjigarh in Odisha's Kalahandi district opened today with arrival of some raw materials.

"The refinery plant, which was temporarily shut down on October 13, has opened and re-started operations as we have managed to procure bauxite from Chhattisgarh and Gujarat," VAL Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mukesh Kumar told PTI.

However, it would take two to three days to resume actual production as it involves a gradual process, he said, adding the captive power plant is also being made operational.

Stating that the company now had a stock of about 40,000 tonnes of bauxite, Kumar said about 3,000 tonnes of the ore was being received from Kwardha mines of Balco in Chhattisgarh for the last few days.

In addition, the company is going to receive 90,000 tonnes of bauxite from Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC), the COO said, adding the first consignment of 45,000 tonnes is expected to arrive in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

"With this we are hopeful of operating about 50 per cent of the one mtpa capacity refinery plant," he said.

The company requires 10,000 MT of bauxite everyday to operate the refinery plant to its full capacity.

Negotiations are also being held with exporters and mines owners in Gujarat and Maharashtra for supply of bauxite to the Lanjigarh refinery, Kumar said, adding "we are making all efforts to keep the plant running".


Though the company had earlier planned to shut down the refinery on December 5, it was forced to close it on October 13 for a temporary period due to acute shortage of bauxite, he said.

Earlier, the company was running the refinery by utilising only 35 to 40 per cent of its 1 mtpa capacity, he said, adding it is extremely difficult to operate the plant without uninterrupted supply of bauxite.

The Odisha government, which in its MoU with the aluminium major had committed to supply bauxite to VAL's refinery at Lanjigarh, has expressed inability to come to the rescue of the company immediately.

Kumar said the refinery may be shut down again if supply of bauxite is disrupted.

Closure of the refinery would hit livelihood of about 6,500 people, including 550 employed directly, 5,000 engaged indirectly and 1,000 self-employed in and around the plant, sources said.

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