Vedanta to focus on Jharsuguda smelter plant expansion

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Mumbai: With the 5-million-tonne greenfield Lanjigarh aluminium refinery plant expansion on hold, the Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Aluminium (VAL) has decided to focus on completing its aluminium smelter plant at Jharsuguda in Orissa to achieve its targeted capacity of 1.75 mt.

"The work is on, on a war-footing, at the proposed project site at our Jharsuguda plant and we will achieve 1.75-mt capacity by the end of the next financial year," VAL President and Chief Executive Mukesh Kumar told PTI over phone from Lanjigarh in Orissa.

The company has so far invested around Rs 35,000 crore in its Jharsuguda project and around Rs 10,000 crore at the Lanjigarh plant, and plans to invest the balance of Rs 15,000 crore by 2013 to complete its planned expansion.

VAL plans to up its smelting capacity at Jharsuguda plant to 1.75-mt from the present 0.5-mt by 2013.

"The first phase of our 0.5-mtpa smelter and 1-mtpa alumina refinery has already been completed and work on the second phase is on, except the alumina refinery which is under hold as per the Union Environmental Ministry directives," he said.

The company has set up a greenfield aluminum refinery plant with a capacity of 1 mt at Lanjigarh and plans to ramp up it to 5 mt. "We are awaiting the environment ministry`s clearance to ramp up capacity at Lanjigarh plant in Kalahandi district," Kumar said.

The expansion of the refinery plant ran into rough weather after the Union Environmental Ministry refused to give clearance on October 21, 2010.

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