Cites non-availability of bauxite ore to feed the plant

Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) on Saturday temporarily stopped operating its refinery facility at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district citing non-availability of bauxite ore to feed the plant.

“As we ran out of adequate bauxite ore for the facility at Lanjigarh, we have decided to halt operation temporarily. Plants would remain close till steady supply of bauxite to facility is resumed,” Mukesh Kumar, VAL president, told The Hindu here.

Mr. Kumar said resumption of operation was depending on a number of factors from legal battles to government decisions.

Verdict

“On August 1 last, the Delhi High Court gave a verdict that fresh environmental clearance is not required at the time of renewal if a company is holding a valid environmental clearance. If the order stays, several mines in Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand would be opened, which could solve our problem. If Union Ministry of Environment and Forest decides to move Supreme Court against the order, the bauxite botheration would continue,” said Mr. Kumar.

Memorandum

He said industries bodies like Federation of Indian Mineral Industries and FICCI and aluminium producers like VAL and National Aluminium Company Limited had submitted a memorandum to government for putting a ban on export of bauxite.

“If that happens, availability of bauxite ore for domestic consumption would substantially improve,” Mr. Kumar pointed out. “Further case regarding bauxite extraction from Niyamgiri Hill Range is pending in Supreme Court which is schedule to give a verdict during last week of November.

The Apex Court’s verdict would bring more clarity on procurement of bauxite for the refinery plant,” he said.

The company also temporarily stopped its captive co-generation power plant.

VAL President, however, said decisions with regards to retrenching or retaining existing employees had not been taken. He said the company was monitoring the situation on daily basis and trying hard to secure bauxite.

VAL had already put State government on notice that it would close down its Lanjigarh facility from December 5 for want bauxite.

Livelihood issue

More than 500 people have got direct employment and 5000 indirect in the alumina refinery. The closure would jeopardise the livelihood option of these people.


  • We ran out of bauxite ore for the facility at Lanjigarh, says VAL president

  • Resumption of operations will depend on a number of factors, he says