Industry body urges government to restart coal supplies to aluminium industry

A view of an alumina refinery, about 80 km from Visakhapatnam. File   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

The Aluminium Association of India has urged the Central government to immediately restart supply of coal and rakes to the aluminium industry to normalise the "precarious situation" due to fuel shortage.

The grouping also said the current fuel shortage has threatened the very survival of the domestic aluminium sector with risk of loss of over one million livelihoods and 5,000 SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in the downstream sector.

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The statement comes at a time when Coal India, which accounts for over 80% of the domestic coal output, has temporarily prioritised fuel supply to power producers.

"Despite untiring efforts to ensure continuous coal supplies, the current shortage due to stoppage/ curtailment of coal supplies and rakes has threatened the very survival of domestic aluminium industry with risk of loss of over one million livelihood and 5,000 SMEs in the downstream sector," the association said in a letter to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Since August 21, the industry is getting just 50% coal supplies, which has been drastically reduced to 10% currently. The industry is struggling to sustain operations with alarmingly depleted coal stocks of only 1.5 to 3 days and is on the verge of stock out, it said.

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If coal shortage is not immediately addressed, the grouping said it may lead to the collapse of aluminium industry and associated SMEs. This will lead to risk of livelihood for over one million local people and additional national forex loss of ₹90,000 crore in form of imports, it added.

"We earnestly request your kind intervention to normalise the precarious situation with immediate resumption of coal and rakes supply for highly power intensive aluminium industry CPPs (Captive Power Plants) for economically viable and sustainable industry operations," the letter said.

On Tuesday, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi reviewed the coal production and stressed on continuing the momentum to dispatch maximum supply of the dry fuel to thermal power plants.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 6:23:37 AM |

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