With an aluminium output of 1.95 million metric tons in the previous fiscal year, Vedanta Ltd. moved into the pole position for aluminium production among India’s smelters, bumping previous leader Hindalco out of the prime spot.
Vedanta’s overall production grew by 17 percent on the year, besting its previous total of 1.67 million metric tons. Though production at Bharat Aluminium Company (BALCO) remained at level pegging, the firm’s smelters at Jharsuguda and the SEZ (Special Economic Zone) boosted production by double digits. The Vedanta smelter at Jharsuguda increased production by 24 percent on the year, while operations at SEZ rose by 27 percent.
A major factor in the increase was debottlenecking of the firm’s alumina refinery at Lanjigarh. This, in concert with the acquisition of new bauxite from Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), helped push the firm’s total alumina production up by 24 percent. OMC raised production at Kodingamali to a peak rate of 3 million metric tons per annum, with 70 percent of the company’s total production promised to Vedanta.
“Improved captive alumina production and locally sourced bauxite are key to drive our aluminium costs lower. The peak run rate at Lanjigarh refinery during the year was 1.8 mtpa (million tonnes per annum)”
Though the firm’s bauxite supplies are sufficient for the moment, Vedanta continues to struggle with finding reliable sources of coal to fuel its power-generation operations.
“The linkage coal materialization for the captive power plants has improved in Q4 FY2019 as compared to previous quarters resulting in no power import for the last four months. The company secured 3.2 million tonnes of coal in Tranche IV auction and materialization has started from March 2019. This will improve coal availability and therefore help to drive our costs down.”
Currently based in London, Vedanta Resources was founded in Mumbai in 1976. The firm is owned and operated by the Agarwal family and has operations across several metals and petroleum markets.