Bhubaneswar: Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) has cut down production by about 50 percent at its refinery in Odisha due to scarcity of bauxite, a top official said Saturday.
The one-million-tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 600 km from here, has been operating at about 40-50 percent capacity for the past few days, VAL president Mukesh Kumar told IANS.
“We have sent teams to various places to see if some where it (bauxite) can be located. However, right now, we are not seeing any hope,” he said.
VAL, an associate company of Vedanta Resources Plc, was getting about 50 percent of the required bauxite from its mines in Chhattisgarh, and was buying the remaining from the miners in other states.
The Mainpat mine in Chhattisgarh has shut operation due to want of environmental clearance.
“It was supplying about 30 percent of our requirements,” Kumar said.
The supply it was getting from miners in other states has also been hit as most of them shut operation due to the new rule on mining lease renewal, he said.
Set up with an investment of $800 million, VAL requires three lakh tonnes of bauxite per month to run the refinery at full capacity.
However, due to bauxite shortage, the company has been running the refinery at reduced capacity since it was commissioned in August 2007.
Vedanta wants to mine bauxite from Niyamgiri Hills located near its refinery but its clearances are mired in litigations and protests.
It has also applied for several other bauxite reserves in the state, but none of them have materialised so far.
Bauxite is the main raw material used to produce alumina.