After successfully operating its refinery at Lanjigarh in Odisha's Kandhamal district for seven years without getting any bauxite from the Odisha government, Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) on Saturday announced a temporary shut down due to lack of the raw material.
"Yes, it is a painful decision. We have shut down the refinery for the time being today due to acute scarcity of bauxite. It is a temporary closure," VAL chief operating officer Mukesh Kumar told PTI.
"We had earlier planned to shut down the refinery on December 5. The situation did not permit us to continue operation without raw material support," Kumar said.
Stating that the company would also shut down the captive power plant, Kumar said it informed the local power distribution company to supply at least 8 MW for keeping certain machinery in running condition.
The company was running the refinery by utilising only 35 to 40% of its 1 mtpa capacity, he said adding VAL would resume production as soon as it get bauxite.
The company requires 10,000 MT of bauxite every day to operate its 1 mtpa capacity.
"My teams are already on the job to get the raw material from anywhere in India," he said.
Odisha government which in its MoU with the aluminium major had committed to supply bauxite has expressed its inability to come to the rescue of the company immediately.
Closure of the refinery would hit the livelihood of about 6,500 people, including 550 employed directly, 5,000 engaged indirectly and 1,000 self-employed in and around the plant, sources said.