India’s National Aluminium Company (Nalco) announced earlier this week that it plans to build a new greenfield smelter at Kamakhyanagar in the state of Odisha.
The project, which is expected to cost ₹360 billion (US$5.3 billion), will be built in conjunction with NTPC Limited, a power company owned by the Indian government. Plans include building a coal-fired 2.4 gigawatt power plant and a one million metric ton per annum aluminium smelter.
“We need around 1,400 acres of land for the new smelter,” explained Nalco’s CMD TK Chand. “Idco (Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation) already has 1,500 acres of land ready at Kamakhyanagar, so we hope to receive possession of this patch of land. Also, the smelter’s location will be around 45 km from Gajamara, the proposed site of the 2,400 Mw power plant. That way, it will be easier for us to evacuate power and feed the smelter.”
The Memorandum of Understanding, which was executed earlier this week, lays the foundation for the more formal agreement to be fleshed out between the companies, which they say will happen before the end of this fiscal year.
“The aluminium smelter project (that converts raw material alumina into aluminium) and the power project will act as a catalyst for industrial growth in the region creating direct and indirect employment for engineers, supervisors and skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers,” the companies said in a joint statement.
Power minister Piyush Goyal hailed the agreement for making Indian aluminium production financially competitive again.
“Today, aluminium use is going up in the automobile and aerospace industries in order to improve energy efficiency,” he said, going on to add that the project was part of the country’s Make in India drive.
“We have brought back the aluminium smelter plant to the people of Odisha. This plant was going to be established outside the country due to lack of cheap power a couple of years back. This would not only give a boost employment generation in the region but also give a fillip to the country’s economy as a whole,” Goyal concluded.