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BALCO completing Rs 40 bn expansion

BALCO will complete a Rs 40 billion (over $900 million) expansion project at Korba city in Chhattisgarh by April end.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2006 11:26 IST

Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd (BALCO) will complete a Rs40 billion (over $900 million) expansion project at Korba city in Chhattisgarh by April end, a company official said.

This will raise its annual production to 370,000 tonnes per annum from the current 100,000 tonnes per annum.

"The work of commissioning of 288 smelter pots with latest Chinese technology, besides a 540-MW coal-fired captive power plant, is in the last leg. We expect the total commissioning by April this year," BALCO's chief of communications Deepak Pachpore said.

The Indian government sold 51 per cent equity of the profit-making public sector company BALCO to the Sterlite group in 2001 at Rs5.51 billion.

The Sterlite group is part of Vedanta Resources, a Britain-based metals and mining major with operations in aluminium, copper and zinc in Britain, India, Zambia and Australia.

"Nearly 80 per cent commissioning work has been completed and the remaining 20 per cent is to be completed by April end," Pachpore said.

Top company sources said BALCO, which operates 639 hectares of the bauxite raw material belt on lease at Mainpat in Surguja district, 175 km from the plant, has been opening up new bauxite mines at Kawardha district for Chhattisgarh for its increased requirement.

Vedanta Resources Plc is investing $2.1 billion for setting up a 500,000-tonne-per- annum aluminium plant and 1,215-MW thermal plant by 2009 at Jharsuguda in mineral-rich Orissa state.

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 11:26 IST