Nalco to invest Rs 25,000 cr despite less profit
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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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