London-based Indian metals miner Vedanta Resources plc announced that it has restarted its second stream operations at the alumina refinery at Lanjigarh. The line was closed previously due to a lack of bauxite ore.
The firm is ramping up operations after having secured bauxite mining rights in the area, and has begun ramping up production accordingly. At the present time, the first potline of the second smelter at Jharsuguda is in full operation. The second line, which lies within the Special Economic Zone, was idled on account of lack of power. However, state power regulator Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has authorized the firm to use up to 1,800 MW of the 2,400 MW coal-fired power station, beginning April 1. Work to ramp up the second line of the smelter has begun as well, as has the ramp-up of the Balco smelter at Korba.
Production of aluminium in April through June increased by two percent to 270 thousand metric tons. Vedanta has approval from the government to produce 1.4 million metric tons per annum, which it will consider if bauxite supplies will sustain such a level. At the present time, all of Vedanta’s bauxite requirements are being fulfilled via imported material, mostly from neighboring Indian states.
“The decrease was primarily due to lower alumina and coal prices, rupee depreciation, and the implementation of various cost saving initiatives which were partially offset by regulatory headwinds of clean energy cess and electricity duty”, said Vedanta in a statement.
Prices have increased, however. The cost per metric ton in the fourth quarter of last fiscal year was US$1,431, and the cost in the quarter just completed was US$1,476 per metric ton. Vedanta chalks up the increase to one-time power purchases from the local power grid during an outage, an increase in clean energy taxes, and an electricity duty, but offset slightly by power-saving initiatives. The firm expects to hold the cost at US$1,400 for the remainder of the fiscal year.