Bhubaneswar: Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) Tuesday said it was shutting down its alumina refinery in Odisha from today due to shortage of bauxite.
“Despite our concerted efforts over the past three months to ensure sustainable supplies of bauxite for our Lanjigarh refinery we have not been able to find any solutiona,” VAL president and chief operating officer Mukesh Kumar told IANS.
“For the last three days we have run the unit at around 20 per cent of the capacity and on December 5 we shall close down the unit as there are no stocks of bauxite,” he said.
The one-million-tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 500 km from here, has been facing a shortage of bauxite since it was commissioned in August 2007.
Kumar said the company was running the plant despite incurring heavy losses by sourcing bauxite from different states. The company had informed the state government in September its intention to shut down the refinery from Dec 5 until it gets long-term assured supply of bauxite.
Set up on an investment of $800 million, VAL requires three lakh tonnes of bauxite per month to run the refinery at full capacity.
Vedanta wants to mine bauxite from Niyamgiri Hills near its refinery but its clearances are mired in litigation and protests by locals. It has also applied for several other bauxite reserves in the state, but none of them have been materialised so far.
VAL is an associate company of the London listed Vedanta Resources Plc. Bauxite is the key raw material used to produce alumina.