VAL mulls lay off at Lanjigarh refinery

Bhubaneswar: In a ripple effect of the December 5 closure of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd’s  (VAL) Lanjigarh refinery in Kalahandi district,  the company is now considering to retrench employees at the plant, according to company COO Mukesh Kumar.
“We don’t have any option left to run the unit which is already in trouble due to lack of bauxite. We are planning to lay-off some of our employees in next 2-3 months,” said Kumar.
“As industrial act mandates to inform prior to one month of any such move, we’ll intimate the state government regarding this soon,” added Kumar.
According to sources, currently the company has 550 employees under its payroll.
The company in September had sent a letter to the state government urging alternative bauxite arrangement for the 1 MTPA unit that requires 10,000 tonnes of raw material daily to run at full capacity. It also mentioned that failure of raw material procurement might lead to plant closure on December 5.
The company claims to have invested Rs 50,000 crore in the refinery along with an aluminium smelter of 1.5 MTPA and a captive power plant.
The plant had been facing bauxite shortages since its commissioning in August 2007 as the state government could not fulfill its commitment of supplying bauxite from the nearby Niyamgiri hills through state-run Odisha Mining Corporation, which held the lease due to regulatory and legal issues.