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Vedanta shuts alumina plant

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 4: Vedanta Alumina Limited today announced it would shut down its one-million-tonne refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district from tomorrow for an indefinite period because of shortage of bauxite.

On September 5, it had issued a notice to the Odisha government saying that they it be forced to shut down the plant if raw material could not be sourced within three months.

Chief operating officer of Vedanta Alumina Limited Mukesh Kumar said: “Despite our concerted efforts over the past three months to ensure sustainable supply of bauxite for the Lanjigarh refinery, we have not been able to find any solution. In the past three days, the unit could perform only around 20 per cent of its total capacity. We have no option but to shut down the unit from tomorrow because of bauxite shortage.”

The company had received a jolt after the Union ministry of environment and forests rejected the proposal to mine bauxite from the Niyamgiri hills in 2010.

The BJD government, which has been accused of showing favour to the company, has not been able to do much for the company to meet the raw material shortage. The company has invested around Rs 45,000 crore in Odisha.

To get assured supply of bauxite, Vedanta Group chief Anil Agarwal had called on chief minister Naveen Patnaik last month.

“In spite of the company’s management having several rounds of meetings and discussions with the chief minister and chief secretary for provision of bauxite for the refinery, no solution has been be arrived upon,” said a news release issued by the Vedanta Group.