VAL to scale up alumina production to full capacity from Dec

Kolkata: Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), now part of Sesa Sterlite, on Monday said it will scale up the refinery capacity at Lanjigarh to the rated capacity from December, despite continued raw material supply crisis.

"In the month of October, capacity utilisation had gone up to 65 per cent and we expect full capacity production from December," VAL Managing Director S K Roongta said at an interactive session with MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The installed capacity of refinery at Lanjigarh (Odisha) is one million tonne. The plant was closed for around seven months from December 5, 2012 due to lack of bauxite, the key raw material for making alumina.

Roongta said this (increase in refinery production) would be done even with costly imports.

With increase in production, the bauxite requirement would increase to three million tonnes, he said.

The company currently meets its bauxite requirement equally from its group company Balco, buying from merchant mines of other states and imports.

VAL had earlier said it would increase its smelter production capacity at Jharsugda to 2.3 million tonnes over the next three years.

Due to resistance from local tribals, the proposed bauxite sourcing is yet to commence from Niamgiri mines, depending on which the group had invested in the aluminium sector in the state.

The company was also trying to convince Nalco to supply alumina meant for export to its plant, to which the PSU has not agreed upon so far.