India’s premier aluminium smelter Vedanta Ltd. plans to spend US$300 million during the current fiscal year. This is according to comments made to domestic media by Vedanta Aluminium’s Chief Executive Officer Ajay Kapur last week.
“Our most significant expansion will be at our Lanjigarh alumina refinery,” Kapur told India’s BusinessLine. “Subject to government approvals, the majority of our projects should be completed over the next 2-3 years.”
The planned expansion is part of an effort to boost Vedanta’s aluminium output from it’s current total of 1.96 million metric tons per annum to 3 million metric tons per annum. To provide sufficient raw material for the increase, Vedanta will be boosting output at the adjacent Lanjigarh alumina refinery by 3 million metric tons per annum to a total of 5 million metric tons per annum.
Although Vedanta won the right to purchase alumina from National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) in 2020, Kapur said logistical hurdles still make it cheaper to source alumina internally. Lanjigarh’s expansion will meet a portion of that gap, but it has had supply problems of its own as well.
“We have urged the State government to expeditiously bring bauxite mines into auction,” Kapur said.
In addition to boosting capacity at Lanjigarh, Vedanta says it plans to collaborate with the Odisha state government on an industrial park at Jharsuguda.
“Our smelter and power plant can supply hot metal and electricity to MSME units at the aluminium park, who can be given a favourable policy environment.”
“This will save them major transportation and remelting cost. We are under discussion with the Odisha government to finalise the modalities,” Kapur concluded.