Mining giant, Vedanta Resources announced on Monday (12) that it plans to pump Rs 150 billion (£1.60bn) to increase the alumina refinery capacity at Lanjigarh in eastern Indian state Odisha.
With the new investment, the company aims to raise its capacity threefold to six million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and firm up the downstream sector in the state in three years.
Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal while addressing at the ‘Make in Odisha Conclave 2018’ being held at Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha said, the Lanjigarh plant would be expanded in phases which would raise the capacity of the refinery from the existing two MTPA to four MPTA, and finally six MTPA in the next three years.
Agarwal speaking in the conclave added that his company has already invested more than Rs 500bn in Odisha. A fresh investment of Rs 150bn will be made available for the expansion of the Lanjigarh refinery in the next three years.
Vedanta’s aluminium park at Jharsuguda where its smelter is established, has been witnessing progress and as many as 25 downstream industries have come up and more than 100 such factories are expected to be established in the 250-acre complex.
Agarwal also expressed his concern over scare supply of raw materials, such as coal, bauxite in Odisha which could adversely impact the growth of the industry.
The government firms in Odisha obtain 100 per cent coal for their functioning, whereas private companies are provided only 25 per cent which prevents the companies to function properly, he said.
Speaking on bauxite, Vedanta chairman said only one per cent of mineral’s reserves in the state have been explored so far. As far as the industrial growth of Odisha is concerned, it is more important to open new bauxite blocks to strengthen the aluminium sector in the state
Agarwal further said that his company has been given a tiny bauxite mine at Kodingamali and like oil blocks, more of the mines should be put to auction for the growth of aluminium industry.
He claimed that over 14 lakh people of Kalahandi district have benefited by his company’s alumina refinery at Lanjigarh.