Coal shortage concern for NALCO: Pradhan

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 21 (UNI) The National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) Chairman cum Managing Director C R Pradhan has expressed concern over shortage in the supply of coal to the plant which has affected the production.

Talking to newspersons here yesterday, Mr Pradhan said the Bharatpur coal mine was initially dedicated to NALCO but of late coal from this unit was being supplied to NTPC and other power units across the country.

Besides, the decline in production from the Bharatpur coal mines owned by the Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) had also affected the supply of coal to the NALCO plant.

He said NALCO has now the option either to go for import of coal or procure from the private companies but these options were not feasible as it would have impact on the cost of the production.

Mr Pradhan said the short supply of coal had already resulted in the Company's 960 MW Captive Power Plant, near the Smelter Plant in Angul, generate lower power of 5,609 million units (against 5,968 million units in the previous year).

He, however, announced that notwithstanding the coal shortage, the Navaratna company would go for a third phase expansion project with an investment of Rs 6,000 crore which when commissioned in 2012 would increase the aluminum capacity of the plant to 5.80 lakh tonnes and power generation to 1,400 MW.

Mr Pradhan said the NALCO has already approached the consultant as far as the mining and alumina were concerned but detailed design of the smelter plant would be taken up after the land required for the smelter plant was finalised.

The NALCO CMD said a Mine and Refinery Complex is being planned in Andhra Pradesh with an investment of Rs 7,000 crore to produce 14 lakh tonnes refinery and bauxite mining capacity of 42 lakh tonnes.

In Orissa, he said a Smelter and Power Complex have been planned in Jharsugura district at an investment of Rs 8,500 crore. The project envisaged a five lakh tonne smelter capacity and 1,260 MW capacity power plants.

The 27th Annual General Meeting of the company held here yesterday approved the Annual Accounts for 2007-08 with a sales turnover of Rs 5,576 crore, net profit of Rs 1,632 crore and an export earning of Rs 2,135 crore.

It also also approved a dividend payout of 60 per cent amounting to Rs 386.59 crore (including 45 per cent interim dividend paid in February, 2008), on the paid-up equity share capital of Rs 644.31 crore.

During the year, NALCO has achieved 104.48 per cent capacity utilisation of its Smelter at Angul with a production of 3,60,457 tonnes of aluminium cast metal against 3,58,734 tonnes in the previous year.

Similarly, the Alumina Refinery at Damanjodi has reported 100.04 per cent capacity utilisation with a production of 15,75,500 tonnes of alumina hydrate against 14,75,200 tonnes in the previous year.

Bauxite production increased to 46,84,684 tonnes from 46,23,278 tonnes in the previous year.

Mr Pradhan said NALCO, in order to emerge as a company of global repute, has drawn up an ambitious growth plan worth Rs 40,000 crore for the next five years. These included Smelter and Power projects in Indonesia and Iran besides Brownfield and green field within the country.

UNI DP DPM RN1759

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