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State urges Hindalco to promote downstream units

BS Reporter / Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 12 May 12 | 12:44 AM

The Odisha government has urged A V Birla controlled Hindalco Industries to promote downstream industries in aluminium sector for employment generation in the state instead of confining itself to aluminium making.

“We have asked Hindalco Industries to explore opportunities for promoting downstream industries in aluminium sector rather than focusing on expansion alone. The creation of downstream units will boost employment generation in the state," said Chief Secretary B K Patnaik after a meeting with Hindalco Industries managing director Debu Bhattacharya.

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It may be noted, to promote downstream industries in aluminium sector, state owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) in September 2009 to set up an aluminium park at Angul at a cost of Rs 75 crore.

The aluminium park, to come up over 200 acres of land, will house ancillary and downstream industries to produce caustic soda, calcined petroleum coke, coal tar pitch, aluminium fluoride, aluminium conductors, alumunium extrusions, aluminium castings, slugs and circles among others.

Aditya Aluminium Ltd, a unit of Hindalco Industries Ltd, has lined up Rs 10,000-cr expansion plan to ramp up capacity of its aluminium smelter and captive power plant (CPP) proposed at Jharsuguda in western Odisha.

The company intends to double smelter capacity from 0.36 million tonne per annum (mtpa) to 0.72 mtpa and also scale up CPP capacity from 900 MW to 1,650 MW.

The expansion has not been referred to the High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA) yet. The Single Window committee has asked the company to abide by certain conditions recommended by the state task force on aluminium at its last meeting in January this year.

The task force had urged the company to establish a campus of BITS-Pilani in the state. It had also asked the company to bring in additional investment in sectors other than aluminium for creation of employment opportunities and revenue generation. The company was asked to submit a detailed report to the state's investment promotion agency-Industrial Promotion & Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd (Ipicol).

Besides, the task force had recommended to the company to set up a 100-bed hospital, a quality school and an industrial training institute (ITI) at a suitable location in consultation with district authorities.

Aditya Aluminium had signed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Odisha government on April 8, 2005 for establishment of a one million tonne per annum alumina refinery at Rayagada and 0.36 mtpa aluminium smelter plant at Jharsuguda at an investment totaling to Rs 10,725 crore. The refinery was expected to go into production by December this year. The refinery project has already got clearance for mining of 8.5 million tonnes of bauxite at Baphilimali and Podingamali in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts respectively. The bauxite reserve in the mines, owned by the state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), is estimated at around 200 million tonnes.

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