London-based Vedanta Resources is awaiting the green signal from the Chhattisgarh government to expand the capacity of Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd (Balco), which it acquired in 2001 amid controversy.
Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal had talks with chief minister Raman Singh and senior officials in Raipur to seek the go-ahead for its 325,000-tonne alumina smelter unit, which is ready for operation, along with a 1,200-MW thermal power plant.
“We are hopeful with the outcome of the meeting,” the chairman said.
Balco produced 247,000 tonnes of aluminium, its current capacity, in 2012-13. The company generates 810 MW. “The power produced will be for captive use and the local facilities of the company,” Agarwal said.
Agarwal said since Balco was a matter of strong sentiment for him, its expansion and upgrade were his priorities. The revenue generated from Balco is utilised by the company in Raipur.
“Despite investing thousands of crores, we have not taken a single rupee from the company. Balco plans to enhance its combined capacity to one million tonne per annum production of aluminium,” said the Vedanta chairman.
Vedanta, a globally diversified natural resources group, acquired a 51% share in Balco, which was a public sector undertaking, in 2001 in the midst of strong opposition from the then chief minister Ajit Jogi.