BHUBANESWAR, India, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Vedanta Aluminium Ltd
(VAL), India's largest aluminium maker, said on
Saturday it has temporarily shut down its alumina refinery in
Odisha due to lack of bauxite.
Bauxite is the key raw material to produce alumina. The
refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 450
kilometres from state capital Bhubaneswar, was operating at
about 25 per cent capacity for the past three days, VAL
President Mukesh Kumar told Reuters.
VAL is a unit of billionaire Anil Agarwal-controlled Vedanta
The refinery, which has been struggling for bauxite since it
was commissioned in Aug 2007, informed the state authorities
early last month it would close the plant on a temporary basis
from 5th December.
"Due to non availability of bauxite we were forced to close
down the refinery temporarily before our scheduled declared date
..as we had no other alternatives," Kumar said.
"We shut down the operation to save the plant from further
damage," he said.
Kumar however did not give an exact date when the operation
"We are not sure how much time it will take. We are making
all efforts to arrange the bauxite" said Kumar, adding the
operation at the plant would resume once the company could
arrange a stock which would last 10-15 days.
The Lanjigarh plant requires 10,000 tonnes of bauxite a day
to operate at full capacity of one million tonnes a year.
Kumar said bauxite was not available due to regulatory
issues and monsoon conditions. Large scale bauxite exports from
the country also contributed to the shortage, he said.
He said the Lanjigarh plant is designed for local bauxite,
and availability of bauxite from Odisha only can ensure
sustainability of the refinery's operation.
Kumar however said the shutdown of the refinery may not have
immediate impact on VAL's aluminium output because the company
is trying to survive on imports.