Slowdown, power shortage hit FACOR output

Santosh Patnaik

Of the five furnaces at its Garividi unit only four are working

The unit needs supply of 30 mw per hour from government

It has not declared layoff much to the relief of employees

VISAKHAPATNAM: The global slowdown and severe shortage of power has hit Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR)’s ferroalloys units at Garividi in Vizianagaram district.

As a result of shortfall in power supply, the average production per day has come down from 200 tonnes to 160 to 170 tonnes. The unit needs 30 mw per hour from the State Government. The government is supplying power generated by NTPC at the rate of 15 mw per hour from 6.30 to 10.30 pm.

Of the five furnaces, four are working. The price of high carbon ferrochrome, used by steel plants, had touched an unprecedented high of Rs.1 lakh per tonne during boom-time and after the slowdown, it has nose-dived to Rs.38,000 to Rs.40,000. Despite the short-supply in availability of power and the slump in market due to lull in construction industry, the management has not declared a layoff much to the relief of the employees. The unit has 570 permanent and 700 to 800 contract workers. However, the contract workers are being engaged for 18 to 20 days, FACOR Karmika Sangham honorary president M. Srinivasa Rao, said.

“As the management earned abnormal profits during the boom-time, now it should not delay implementing wage revision which is due from October 2008 under the pretext of slowdown,” he said.

The management had paid 20 per cent bonus to employees for two successive years. The slowdown and slashing of production has put a brake at the expansion plan of the management. Absence of protective cover, frequent curbs on power supply and the fluctuating market condition have also upset investment in new ferroalloys units by private entrepreneurs in Bobbili Growth Centre, Garbham and Gurla.

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