Bhubaneswar: Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) on Thursday informed the Odisha government its intention to shut down temporarily its alumina refinery from December 5 due to lack of bauxite, a senior company official said.

"We have been left with no other option but to take this drastic decision as there is no bauxite available," said VAL President Mukesh Kumar. He also said that the company on Thursday sent a formal letter to the state labour department in this regard.

The one-million-tonne per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, about 500 km from Bhubaneswar, has been operating at reduced capacity since it was commissioned in August 2007.

Kumar said that the company has been running the plant despite incurring heavy losses by sourcing bauxite from different states.

Set up on an investment of USD 800 million, VAL requires three lakh tonne of bauxite per month to run the refinery at full capacity. Vedanta wants to mine bauxite from Niyamgiri Hills located near its refinery but its clearances are mired in litigations and protests by residents.

It has also applied for several other bauxite reserves in the state, but none of them have been materialised so far.

VAL is an associate company of the London listed Vedanta Resources Plc.


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