‘No question of closing down Sterlite unit’

Committed to process of law in resolving imbroglio around T.N. plant, says Vedanta’s Kishore Kumar

Updated - April 30, 2018 11:21 am IST

Published - April 29, 2018 10:25 pm IST - CHENNAI

R. Kishore Kumar

R. Kishore Kumar

Sterlite Copper said it was fully committed to the process of law in resolving the imbroglio at its copper smelting plant in Thoothukudi District of Tamil Nadu.

Data collected and monitored continously on pollution levels and other aspects fully supported Sterlite’s case, said R. Kishore Kumar, director — strategy and business development, Vedanta Resources Plc.

In this context, he pointed out that the green courts and others had legally cleared the operation of Sterlite unit long ago. The company had sought the renewal of licence for the operation of its existing plant much before the expiry date. The State authorities, however, had chosen to seek further information much later, after the expiry of the licence, he added.

Production loss

To a question, he asserted that “there is no question of closing down the unit.’’ He said the continued shut-down meant a production loss of 1,200 tonnes a day. Given the current supply-demand gap, this would result in an increase in import of copper, which would have attendant consequences for the country’s foreign exchange dynamics, he added.

Almost a third of the country’s demand is serviced by the Sterlite unit. With various global agencies saying India would grow at more than 7% over the next couple years, the copper demand-supply scene would turn a lot tighter, he said.

The expected step-up in power generation would only compound the predicament for the copper industry. Unless, the supply improved with the creation of fresh capacity, the situation would turn tough for copper-using industries, he added. The expansion proposal at Thoothukudi must be read against this backdrop, he said. The stalling of the existing operation, however, added a whole new dimension to the global copper scene. This had already handed out a kind of default advantage to other copper-producing nations, he said.

Conceding that the stalemate had put the brand image of the group, which had presence across the globe, in a bit of a spot, he, nevertheless, pointed out that this could have perception implications for the country as a whole among the global investing community. Sterlite’s facility has been facing a barrage of protests on the ground the facility was polluting the environment.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.