Experts for promoting AP-Odisha as most preferred aluminium hub

Updated - November 27, 2014 07:49 pm IST

Published - November 27, 2014 02:54 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Exuding confidence over growth prospects, several experts have mooted development of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as the world’s most preferred destination for investment in aluminium industry.

The experts who attended the three-day conference of International Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium Society (IBAAS) which began in Visakhapatnam on Thursday felt that with availability of adequate stocks of coal and bauxite reserves, one of the best in the world quality-wise, Indian aluminium industry could attract investments up to Rs.1,00,000 crore with direct employment to 30,000 and indirect up to three lakh and contribute to the exchequer $20 billion to $ 25 billion in next 10 to 15 years.

In his keynote address, Vedanta Resources Plc CEO Tom Albanese said raw material security was the main worrying point for the investors in the aluminium sector in India. Citing how China had been able to ameliorate poverty by making huge investments in aluminium production and a small country like Guinea had done wonders in exporting bauxite ore, he said India was still lagging behind in exploring its resources.

He said the negative propaganda on bauxite mining was an offshoot of vilification campaign and there was a need to counter it by creating awareness on availability of proven environment-friendly practices. “In partnership with the government and the stakeholders, the industry has to grow as a team effort,” he said.

President of Anrak Aluminium Hariharan Mahadevan said misplaced commotion over red mud and other so-called ecological issues had come as a big blow to the growth of the aluminium projects in the Eastern Ghats. He said there should be long term planning to ensure sustainable safeguards and precautions.

He said world’s best practices would be followed to improve greenery after mining and increase groundwater tables and called for awareness campaign to allay fears among certain sections. He said aluminium could be recycled infinitely, and with low energy consumption, it would throw a plethora of opportunities to the economy.

IBASS president Vinod Sood presided. IBASS secretary Ashok Nandi, Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research and Design Director Anupam Agnihotri and NALCO Director (Commercial) Soma Mondal and others spoke.

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