Bhubaneshwar: In a bid to resume operation of its refinery at Odisha's Kalahandi district, Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) today provided options before the state government's inter-ministerial group.
"We have given various options to the ministerial group to arrange alternative source of bauxite in order to maintain our plant at Lanjigarh. We will operate the plant as soon as we get the raw material," VAL chief operating officer (COO) Dr Mukesh Kumar told reporters.
VAL, which stopped operation of its 1 mtpa aluminium refinery at Lanjigarh due to scarcity of bauxite on December 5 last year, said a number of small deposits of bauxite in different places in the state remained unutilised since a long time.
"These small bauxite reserves are not given to any company. They lie with the state government. Many of them are located in non-forest areas also," Kumar claimed, adding, that apart from this a number of closed bauxite mines can also be revived to meet the needs of VAL.
"Let us survive first. Then we can think of long term ore supply to the refinery. The long term ore linkage can be made within one and half-a-years," Kumar said in reply to a query. The closure of the refinery has left many people in difficulty besides affecting the local soci-economic situation, he said.Ruling out the possibility of shifting the plant from Odisha, Kumar said: "If aluminium plant is not run in Odisha, it cannot be made operational anywhere in India.
Odisha is the only place where both bauxite and coal are available". While there were 300 million tonnes of bauxite reserves in the state, VAL required only 3 million tonnes, Kumar said adding that the ministerial group has assured him of analysing the options put by the company.
"We are positive about getting supply of bauxite by the state owned Odisha Mining Corporation," Kumar said. He said the company would be able to run the plant if Delhi High Court judgement on August 2012 was implemented. "If the judgement is implemented, we can get bauxite from Chhattishgarh and Jharkhand," Kumar said.
"We have received the VAL's suggestions. The group will analyse it. Anyway, it is upto the state government to take any decision," said Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya who heads the miniserial group.