Vedanta restarts its Odisha alumina refinery

Bhubaneswar: Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) on Thursday restarted its 1 million tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Odisha, about seven months after the company had shut down the unit due to scarcity of bauxite.

"We have started operations of the alumina refinery. We have to limit its capacity utilisation up to 60 per cent capacity now which will stabilise gradually," said Mukesh Kumar, president and chief operating officer of VAL.

Sources said, the aluminium major has revived its plant by procuring bauxite from Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat. The refinery was closed due to acute shortage of bauxite.

VAL is a unit of Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources. "The refinery operations resumed at 9:30 am. First, the captive power plant was put on stream," he said.

VAL's refinery which required 10,000 Mt of bauxite every day was shut down on December 5, 2012. The company was trying to source bauxite from different places, he said.

Though the state government had committed to make raw materials available for VAL's refinery, it failed to keep promises as the proposed bauxite mining atop Niyamgiri Hills in Lanjigarh area, faced legal hurdles.