Aug. 9: Tata Steel has shut down its ferro alloy plant at Bamnipal in Keonjhar district of Odisha because of shortfall in key raw material chromite. The plant was sourcing chromite from the Sukinda Valley, whose mining lease has lapsed, resulting in the shortfall.
The development comes at a time the steel major is planning to set up a plant at Kalinganagar in the Jajpur district of Odisha.
“The plant has been shut down since August 4. We had run the plant partially with whatever stock was available with us. The plant had a capacity of 50,000 tonnes. It used to depend on the company’s Sukinda chrome ore mines, which have a capacity of 84.32 million tonnes. The mining has been spread over 406 hectares,” said an official of the Tata group.
The suspension of operations at Sukinda and Bamnipal will result in more than 6,000 job cuts, according to the company.
Chromite is used to make stainless steel.
The Tatas’ lease for the Sukinda chrome mines lapsed on January 11, 2013.
The company continued to operate the mines till May 12, 2014 on a temporary permit from the Union environment ministry.