Coal shortage has impacted aluminium production: Nalco

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Published: October 16, 2019 8:06:30 PM

Since the supply of coal has not improved, Nalco has been drawing around 190 MW of power from the state grid. As on date, 80 electrolytic pots in the smelter plant have been stopped.

As on date, 80 electrolytic pots in the smelter plant have been stopped. 

State-run Nalco on Wednesday said coal shortages have severely impacted its aluminium production. “Short supply of coal has severely impacted Aluminium production of NALCO and also the cost of power, as the power purchased from the grid is costly as compared to the power produced by NALCO at its CPP,” the PSU said in a statement. Presently, three units of Nalco’s Captive Power Plant (CPP), each of 120 MW capacity, are under shutdown and further one more unit will be shut due to coal shortage, it said.

Nalco fully depends upon Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) — a Coal India arm — for supply of coal to its CPP at Angul and steam and power plant at Damanjodi. Nalco’s requirement of coal for its CPP at Angul is around 17,000 tonnes per day. At present, Nalco’s CPP is receiving around 8,000 – 9,000 tonnes per day and there is a shortfall of around 7,000 – 8,000 tonnes per day. Due to this short supply, which is running since the last seven weeks, the buffer stock of coal available with Nalco’s CPP has been exhausted.

Since the supply of coal has not improved, Nalco has been drawing around 190 MW of power from the state grid. As on date, 80 electrolytic pots in the smelter plant have been stopped. “Since, the coal supply position is not improving, in order to secure the safety of pots, NALCO may be forced to further shut down up to 227 numbers of electrolytic pots in phases, depending upon the power generation in CPP, matching with coal receipt,” it said.

Unions and associations have appealed to MCL, Coal India Ltd and the coal ministry to ensure increased coal supply to Nalco to tide over the situation.

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