Nalco to invest Rs 25,000 cr despite less profit

Last Updated: Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 16:17

Bhubaneswar: Aluminium giant NALCO will
invest over Rs 25,000 crore to launch new projects and
undertake major expansion despite decline in profit due to the
global recession.

"Though disinvestment has to be a government decision as
it is the owner, NALCO does not figure in the list of public
sector companies likely to be disinvested now," NALCO CMD C R
Pradhan told reporters here.

The government has not sought any comment from the
Navaratna company in this connection, Pradhan said.

Despite adverse market conditions due to the global
meltdown that led to fall in its net profit to Rs 1,272 crore
during 2008-09 against Rs 1,632 crore in the previous year,
NALCO achieved a record turnover of Rs 5,631 crore last fiscal
compared to Rs 5,576 crore during previous year, he said.

Posting a 100 per cent capacity utilisation in Alumina
Refinery and Smelter, NALCO achieved highest ever cast metal
production of 361,262 tonnes in 2008-09 against 360,457 tonnes
in 2007-08, the company CMD said.

On new domestic projects, he said besides a Rs 6,000
crore alumina refinery in Andhra Pradesh, the company plans to
set up a five lakh tonne smelter plant and 1250 MW power unit
in Orissa`s Jharsuguda district at an investment of more than
Rs 16,000 crore.

Pradhan said the company has already prepared a feasibility
report for the proposed Andhra Pradesh project for which the
Centre accorded prior approval for mining lease proposals
three days ago.
The proposal for smelter and power plant at Brajarajnagar in
Jharsuguda district has been conditionally approved by Orissa
government, he said adding the project is proposed without any
coal, mineral and water linkage.

About the Navaratna company`s move to make foray into nuclear
energy sector, NALCO CMD said an MoU is likely to be concluded
with the nuclear power corporation by the end of this month or
early next month for setting up a nuclear power plant in the
country.

While the nuclear power corporation`s board has approved the
proposed joint venture with NALCO, the location and size of
the plant is yet to be decided, he said.

On projects abroad, Pradhan said an aluminium smelter is in
pipeline in Indonesia for which the government of that country
has approved the foreign investment proposal.

Nalco is also planning to acquire a coal mine of 200 million
tonnes reserve in joint venture for setting up the smelter and
power plant, he said.

The company would also set up a smelter plant in Iran in view
of abundant reserve of natural gas and availability of cheap
electricity. Feasibility report and due diligence had been
conducted and once detailed project report is ready, the
project would kick off.

With the second phase expansion with an investment of Rs 4402
crore nearing completion, NALCO is set to raise bauxite mine
capacity from 48 lakh tonnes to 63 lakh tonnes and Alumina
capacity from 15.75 lakh tonnes to 21 lakh tonnes very soon,
Pradhan said.

Similarly, Aluminium capacity would rise from 345,000 tonnes
to 460,000 tonnes and power generation capacity from 960 MW to
1200 MW by the end of this year, he said.

Now plans are afoot for third phase of expansion of its
existing facilities at Angul and Damanjodi in 2013 to further
increase alumina capacity to 22.75 lakh tonnes and bauxite
mine capacity to 68 lakh tonnes by 2015, Pradhan said.

NALCO has finalised a corporate vision and plan up to 2020
aspiring for ambitious plans to grow and become a reputed
global company in the metals and energy sectors.

Sharing more details about company`s performance, he said it
produced highest ever domestic metal sale of 271,274 tonnes
during 2008-09 against 251,612 tonnes in 2007-08.

Similarly, the company also achieved highest ever domestic
sale of special alumina of 36,695 tonnes against 27,293 tonnes
in 2007-08.

Stating that security at bauxite mining site and refinery at
Damanjodi had been strengthened after the Maoist attack on
April 12, NALCO CMD said besides deploying more CISF personnel
and fortifying the area, the company has taken steps to
enhance periphery development.

s
Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, September 20, 2009 - 16:17

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