Bhubaneswar: State-run National Aluminium Co (Nalco) wants non-core areas to contribute a fourth of its revenue through an ambitious diversification plan covering areas like nuclear energy, thermal units and other metals, chairman B L Bagra said.

“In the power sector alone, Nalco has planned to invest a little less than Rs1,000 crore from its own resources during this fiscal. Nalco is also interested to invest in non-aluminum businesses like copper, uranium and caustic soda,” said Bagra.

The Bhubaneswar-based company and India's third largest aluminum producer also wants to become a major independent power producer -- not just in conventional coal-based units but of nuclear energy and wind power as well, he added.

“As far as our diversification endeavours are concerned, we are also joining Nuclear Power Corp to set up a nuclear power plant of 1,400 MW capacity in Kakrapar in Gujarat, in which we will hold 49 percent equity,” he said.  The top official said the Nalco board has already approved the proposal and had sent it to the central government for a final nod.

The cost of the nuclear project, he said, was Rs13,000 crore and Nalco's equity will be of the order of Rs1,700 crore. “The construction had already started in December last year and the project is expected to be commissioned some time in 2014,” said Bagra. 

He said the company was also preparing to bid for the 4,000 megawatt ultra mega power project at Bedabahal in Orissa's Sundergarh district.  

Apart from power, Nalco was also interested to invest in non-aluminum businesses like copper, uranium and caustic soda, and was scouting for copper in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America. Also on the cards is a caustic soda plant in Gujarat. 

Nalco had posted a net profit of Rs.1,069 crore in the financial year ended March 31, up 31 percent over the previous year's  Rs 814 crore. The company hopes to earn better profits this fiscal following expansion. 

(Agencies)