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GMDC board to decide on JV with Nalco for aluminium project

Press Trust Of India / Mumbai/ Ahmedabad 16 Jan 12 | 12:52 AM

State-owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) on Sunday said its board will take a decision next month on setting up an alumina plant and aluminium smelter project in joint venture (JV) with the Navratna PSU Nalco. Nalco, a leading aluminium producer, recently had qualified as the sole bidder for the over Rs 10,000-15,000 crore alumina and smelter plant project, proposed in Kutch district of Gujarat.

"Nalco, the sole qualified bidder, for our alumina plant and aluminium smelter project, has deposited the upfront fees of Rs 150 crore. We shall now take it to our board by middle of next month, which will take the final decision on JV," a top GMDC official told PTI.

The other companies who had evinced interest through EOI's included Hindalco, JSW Aluminium and Adani group. The bids for project were technically examined by the Nagpur-based Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre, a GMDC official said.

"Once our board approves it, the next step would be to take it to the Gujarat government for final approval, which is likely by mid-April," he said.

The project is for one million tonne alumina and 0.5 million tonne aluminium smelter. GMDC will supply bauxite for the project from its group of mines in Kutch.

The estimated Rs 10,000-15,000 crore alumina and smelter is expected to be set up in Gujarat on the lines of such units installed by the UK based Vedanta group in Odhisa, but will deploy more advance technology, a GMDC official said.

Earlier in 2005, Gujarat government had signed an MoU with Aashapura group to set up the plant and smelter unit in Kutch.

But later the government did not extend the MoU, following which GMDC in 2010 invited EOIs for the project.

Aluminium smelting is the process of extracting aluminium from alumina. While, alumina is extracted from the ore bauxite by means of a process at an alumina refinery.

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