The London-based Vedanta Resources on Wednesday announced the shutdown of its 1 million tonne alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Orissa’s Kalahandi district. The plant shutdown has been confirmed by the Vedanta Aluminium (VAL) chief executive officer Mukesh Kumar
“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 solution. For the last three days we ran the unit at around 20% capacity and today, on December 5, we were forced to close down due to dwindling stocks of bauxite,” Kumar said.
Orissa steel and mines minister Rajani Kanta Singh said that the state government has constituted a three-member inter-ministerial group under the chairmanship of finance minister Prasanna Acharya to formulate a policy to ensure long-term supply of minerals like bauxite, iron ore, manganese and chromite to the user industries in the state.
He said that once the policy comes into force, Vedanta’s plant would be linked with raw materials.
The VAL had had issued a three-month closure notice on September 5 this year.
“With bauxite stock depleting to almost ‘zero level’, the company is left with no other alternative but to shut down the refinery, whose closure is expected to affect around 7,000 people engaged directly or indirectly with the plant,” said company sources.
“In spite of the company’s top management having several rounds of meetings and discussions with the state chief minister and chief secretary for bauxite provision to the refinery, no concrete solution has been be arrived upon,” they added.