Vedanta Aluminium mulls job cuts at Lanjigarh alumina unit
New Delhi: Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources' subsidiary VAL today said it is considering up to 100 job cuts in the next two months at its recently shut Lanjigarh facility in Odisha.
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) had closed its Lanjigarh alumina refinery earlier this month citing short supply of bauxite, a key raw material.
"Yes we are considering laying off at our alumina refinery in Odisha within two months," VAL President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mukesh Kumar said.
"We have not analysed the numbers right now," he said but added that it could be anything ranging from "ten to 100".
The plant at present employs about 550 people.
A Vedanta official, who did not wish to be identified, said the closure of the unit would impact the livelihood of about 7,000 locals.
VAL had shut down its one million tonne alumina refinery at Langigarh in Odisha's Kalahandi district on December 5 after being unable to secure bauxite despite concerted efforts.
The plant which was commissioned in 2007 has faced raw material shortages ever since inception due to regulatory hurdles like forest and environment clearances and protests by locals.
It requires 10,000 tonnes of bauxite a day to operate at full capacity.
Earlier, Kumar while announcing shutting down of operations in Lanjigarh, had said, "We are forced to close down the Lanjigarh refinery due to depletion of stock of bauxite. Despite efforts over the past three months, we were unable to ensure sustainable supplies. For the last few days, we ran the unit at around 20 percent of capacity incurring heavy loss."
The mining conglomerate, which runs the refinery of VAL, had given a closure notice to the Odisha government on September 5 on shutting operations from December 5, citing severe shortage of bauxite as the main reason.
Though the company's top management met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary several times for bauxite for the refinery, no solution could be found.
The company is considering closure of its 75 MW captive power plant set up in Lanjigarh also in view of the uncertain scenario.
The company has invested about Rs 50,000 crore in the refinery along with an aluminium smelter of 1.5 MTPA and a captive power plant in Jharsuguda.