Thursday, December 17, 2009

2nd Phase expansion project of NALCO of Rs. 4,400 crore near completion: Handique
The Minister of Mines and Development of North Eastern Region, Shri B.K. Handique has chaired the second meeting of the Consultative Committee attached to Ministry of Mines here yesterday. The topic of the meeting was “Functioning of National Aluminum Company Limited, NALCO”.

Addressing the meeting, Shri Handique said that the ongoing 2nd phase expansion project of the NALCO at an investment of Rs. 4,402 crore is nearing completion. One unit of 120 MW in captive power plant out of 2 units, has been commissioned since August, 2009. Similarly, 93% of the pots in smelter expansion are already in service. The Minister hoped that the commissioning of balance pots will be completed soon.

He said, at present the Company has substantial cash reserve as well as surplus alumina capacity. For value addition, utilizing the surplus alumina and for strengthening its market presence, the Company is working out the possibility of setting up a green field smelter and power plant in the country or abroad. Shri Handique informed that Indonesia and Iran are the shortlisted destinations, due to availability of coal and cheap gas based power.

The Minister informed that in September this year, NALCO has received recommendation of both Central and State Governments for mines and refinery project in the State of Andhra Pradesh. Very recently, the Company has also signed Memorandum of Understanding, MOU with Nuclear Power Corporation of India, NPCIL for foray into nuclear power production in Joint-Venture, JV with NPCIL. He hoped that NALCO’s involvement in this sector will be a humble yet significant contribution in our country’s endeavor for achieving energy security. On the social commitment of the Company, Shri Handique informed that over the years, NALCO has proved its credential as a socially responsible Corporate. He said, so far, the company has spent more than Rs. 100 crore towards the peripheral development activities near the operating units & rest part of the State of Orissa. The company has provided employment to several land affected persons and also training and skill upgradation practical training.

The Minister said that in the backdrop of economic recession and consequent downturn in the auto sector, aluminium industries have been one of the hardest hit but the NALCO has managed to register profits, although much lower than previous years. He said that when the Companies all over the world were cutting production, NALCO went ahead with its expansion programme adding to its production capacity. All this has been possible on account of high cash reserve of around Rs. 3500 crore, that the Company has in its kitty, he added.

During the meeting, the Members desired that local peripheral works like health and education facilities for the locals should be provided and to give a new height to the NALCO, the Company should diversify its activities. The Members also wanted skill Upgradation for NALCO employees. The Minister welcomed the Members’ views and thanked for their valuable suggestions.

The Members of Parliament present in the meeting include:- Shri Ramen Deka, Shri Amarnath Pradhan, Shri Dip Gogai, (Lok Sabha), Shri Rudra Narayan Pany (Rajya Sabha). The Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Smt. Santha Sheela Nair, along with senior officers of the Ministry and NALCO also attended the meeting.

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