OD: Vedanta to invest Rs 10,000 cr more to complete Jharsuguda power projects

Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL), a unit of Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources PLC, will invest about Rs 10,000 crore to complete its aluminium smelter and independent power plants at Jharsuguda. The company has so far invested around Rs 40,000-crore in its Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda projects in Orissa. It has set up a greenfield alumina refinery with a capacity of 1-million tons at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi. Incidentally, VAL had lined up investment of Rs one lakh crore its Orissa including the Vedanta University at Puri and expansion of aluminium smelter at Lanjigarh, but it has shelved the University project due to legal hassltes and local opposition while the latter one is mired in legal controversies. The VAL has also plans to set up an Aluminium Park in Jharsuguda at an estimated cost Rs 15000-Rs 20000 crore that will co-locate multiple downstream industries. “The proposed park will help promote the budding enterprises by utilising molten or liquid alumina, the process would reduce the cost of producing different aluminium products like electrical appliances, aluminium extrusion and automobile parts”, Dr Kumar added. The company plans to increase smelting capacity at its Jharsuguda plant to 1.75-million tons from the present 0.5-million tons, by 2013-14. The first phase of the smelter (0.25 mtpa) is on the verge of completion and work on the second phase is progressing well. It has alos invested for 1215 MW captive power plant at Jharsuguda. The VAL has set up a greenfield alumina refinery in Orissa’s Kalahandi district with a capacity of one million tons per annum, [MTPA] and a 75 MW captive power plant. The company has plans to ramp-up...

OD: Rio Tinto Orissa Mining Ltd’s iron ore mining project

Rio Tinto Orissa Mining Ltd’s iron ore mining project at Keonjhar in Orissa has been stalled after Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) decided not to renew the joint venture contract with the Australian based company Rio Tinto. The JV fell apart, as OMC and Rio Tinto did not agree on the export clause of the agreement. OMC and Rio Tinto had jointly agreed to develop the Malangtoli mines in Keonjhar and Sundergarh district in February 1995 at an initial cost of Rs.42 billion, which was later revised to Rs.100 billion. The mining project was shelved in 2000 due to various reasons like low quality iron ore, protest from local villagers etc. It was revived back in October 2008 and the two parties were to sign a fresh agreement on mining &...

OD: Sterlite’s Rs.200 billion steel project put on hold

Sterlite Iron and Steel Company Ltd’s (SISC) proposed 5 million tonne (mt) steel plant project at Keonjhar in Orissa has been put on hold due to Orissa Government’s decision to withdraw land acquisition process for the project. The project was announced in October 2004 with an initial investment of Rs.125 billion, but was stalled in 2006, due to non-progress in land acquisition. However, the project was revived in 2008 with a revised investment of Rs.200 billion. To set up the steel plant, around 3,400 acres of land was required. Of which, land acquisition notification for 1,800 acres in Keonjhar district was issued under Section 6(1) of Land Acquisition Act. This included eight villages, Darnardanpur (242.32 acres), Gopinathpur (120.58 acres), Narsinghpur (54.24 acres), Singraisuan (123.67 acres), Tikarpada (612.64 acres), Mahadeijoda (270.37 acres), Kadagarh (380.08 acres) and Silisuan (67.07 acre). Since the area notified for the project falls under ayacut area (An area which is served by an irrigation project like a canal, dam or a tank), the government decided to withdraw the notification. However, media sources have reported that an alternate site in Sundergarh district has been offered to the company for the...

JH: Greenfield Township Project

LN Mittal has stopped its operation to set up its greenfield plant in Jharkhand,according to official sources. “Arcellor Mittal steel officials are no longer showing any interest to set up its plant in Jharkhand”,said a senior officer of the Jharkhand’s Industry department. Jharkhand’s Principal Secretary (Industry)AP Singh was not available for comment.In fact,launching its maiden venture in India, Mittal Steel Company in 2005 had signed an MoU with the Jharkhand government, committing to invest Rs 40,000 crore to enter mining and steel making operations in the state. The MoU includes setting up of a 12 million tonne greenfield steel plant. Mittal,who had come to Ranchi with his family had said the project would be developed in two phases of six million tonnes each with the first phase expected to be completed within 48 months of the agreement of the detailed project report and the second within further 54 months after completion of phase one. The steel baron also signed two additional MoUs committing to work closely with the mineral-rich state to achieve improvement in technical skills and education to sustain the pace of industrialisation in the state. The company would also study the possibility of setting up of a 2,500 mw power plant and a township for its employees as part of the project. Mittal, however, would not commit the amount to be invested in the power plant. Later,the company opened its office in Ranchi. Subsequently,while it started exploring the site and the land for setting up the plant, Jharkhand and the Central government allotted the iron ore and coal mines to the company. Though no body knows the...

OD: Lanjigarh Alumina Refinery Expansion Project

Vedanta Resources Plc on Tuesday said it plans to raise capacity of its Lanjigarh Alumina refinery to 6 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with an investment of Rs.10,000 crore. Talking to reporters after meeting Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal said doubling of the present plant capacity to 2 mtpa would be done within a year of getting all the clearances. Ramping up the capacity further to 6 mtpa would depend upon the availability of bauxite, a key raw material for making alumina, he said, adding that the company would be investing Rs.10,000 crore for the capacity expansion. Vedanta, which had set up 1 mtpa refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district seven years ago, had been facing an acute shortage of bauxite and presently importing the raw materials from other states and countries to feed its plant. The company had to shut down the plant for some months due to shortage of bauxite in 2012. The company’s concern for the raw material had been compounded after Odisha government’s plan to start bauxite mining from Niyamgiri Hills failed. As L&T did not have a plant here, it was not given mining license. Agarwal hoped that since they have a JV with L&T, the government would recommend ML (mining lease) in their favour. However, the state government was yet to take a decision in this regard, sources said. “We are left with no option, but to pin hope on the bauxite reserve of L&T in order to run the company’s refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district,” Agarwal said. The raw material shortage has left Vedanta’s...

MP: Greenpeace ambushes Essar over Mahan mining

Activist group Greenpeace ambushed the Essar Group on Wednesday by rolling down a huge poster that screamed “I Kill Forests: Essar” on the façade of the Essar headquarters in Mumbai. The protest relates to Essar Power’s plans to start mining at Mahan in Madhya Pradesh, one of the oldest deciduous forests of India. The ambush was carried out by 12 Greenpeace activists who scaled Essar’s 180ft tall headquarters in tiger costumes, and carrying a giant 36ft by 72ft banner. Apart from the message, the banner also featured photographs of environment minister M. Veerappa Moily and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.The Mahan coal block in Mahan forest was granted to Mahan Coal Ltd, a joint venture of Essar Power Ltd and Hindalco Industries Ltd, in 2006 . It was granted an in-principle approval by the environment ministry on 18 October, 2012, after pressure from a group of ministers (GoM) on coal mining. This approval came with 36 conditions, which require a range of studies to be completed and the processes under the forest rights law to be complied with. There are 62 villages that depend on the forest for their livelihood.Greenpeace activists demanded that Essar drop the proposed coal mine project, and that Singh sack Moily, who, according to the organization, has been fast-tracking environment clearances with disregard for forests, and human and wildlife that depend on them. Greenpeace activists in London also demonstrated outside Essar Power’s office at Berkeley Square. The company is listed on the London stock...