Vedanta closes Lanjigarh plant

London-based Vedanta group on Wednesday stopped operations at its one million tonne per annum capacity aluminium refinery at Lanjigarh in the Kalahandi district of Odisha.

The plant’s shutdown comes following a three-month closure notice it has given to the Labour Department of the Odisha government on September 5. The notice was served on the grounds of non-availability of raw materials. The refinery needs at least 10,000 tonnes of bauxite everyday to keep the plant operational.

The plant has already witnessed a temporary shutdown in the last three months but was reopened again after a few days, following the availability of bauxite from states like Jharkhand and Gujarat.

Sources said the company had managed to secure 90,000 tonnes of bauxite from other states but all that was exhausted. “At the moment, we do not have any raw material to run the plant. Therefore, we have been forced to shut it down,” said a senior official of the company.

In the last couple of months, the company officials, including group chief Anil Agarwal, had met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as well as senior officials like Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik and had requested them to ensure supply of raw materials to the plant. But it had yielded no positive results.

Sources in the state secretariat said the government had already formed a team of ministers to look into the issue relating to the supply of raw materials not only to the Vedanta plant but also to other mineral-based industries in the state.
The Lanjigarh plant provides direct employment to about 3,000 people and 4,000 more depend on it indirectly.

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