"The plant will come up near Mundra in Kutch district of Gujarat. It is a joint venture between National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), a PSU with the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC)," Patel said.
    
"I had discussed this project with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and he had instructed the GMDC to speed up the process," he said.
    
The Minister expressed hope that this project would get a nod from the Gujarat cabinet soon and that the foundation stone of this project would be laid in a month. According to him, Nalco would have 51 percent equity, while the GMDC will hold the remaining.
    
"Earlier, the GMDC was willing to hold only 26 percent equity in the project and wanted the Centre to make more investment," he noted.
    
Rs 6,000 crore are required for the initial investment into the project, which will be raised to about Rs 15,000 crore at a later stage, Patel said.
    
According to Patel, some other companies like Hindalco, JSW Aluminium and Adani group had also evinced interest in the project, though Nalco emerged as the sole qualified final bidder for the proposed plant.
     
The project is for one million ton alumina and 0.5 million ton aluminium smelter. GMDC will supply bauxite for the project from its group of mines in Kutch.
     
In 2005, the Gujarat government had signed an MoU with Ashapura Group to set up the plant and smelter unit in Kutch. However, the government did not extend the MoU, following which GMDC invited EOIs for the project in 2010.

(Agencies)

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