MAC: Mines and Communities

Ashapura Plans Rs 2500 Crore Alumina Plant

Published by MAC on 2005-12-24
Source: Bhuj

Ashapura plans Rs 2500 crore alumina plant

Himanshu Bhayani / Bhuj

24th December 2005

Ashapura Group is firming up its plans to invest over Rs 2500 crore in its proposed alumina project in Kutch district as 50:50 joint venture with Chinese partner Sichuian Aerostar.

Ashapura is planning to enter into an alumina processing venture. The contract was awarded to the company at Vibrant Gujarat 2003.

It could not go ahead with the project because of a legal tangle with Mann Industries, which challenged the award of the contract.

Ashapura is hopeful of some solution of the legal problem. "We are sure that the matter is to be resolved in a very short span may be in another four to five weeks and based on the legal orders we will initiate the project. We are likely to commence operations of this project in next three years" said Chetan Shah, managing director of the company.

This business venture of Ashapura Group would require equity in two phases.

Phase one would be requiring initial investment of Rs 1,500 crore, which would be procured by internal retrievals and debts.

In the second phase, the company is planning to invest another Rs 1,000 crore for which a board meeting is scheduled this week.

The funds are likely to be raised through issue of GDRs (global depository receipts) too, explained Shah.

The mining and minerals processing unit sees this foray as a natural diversification.

Bauxite has to be processed into alumina, and then used for manufacturing aluminium, explained Tanuj Roy, CEO of the company.

Its Chinese partner has promised to buy out 75 per cent of the production from India. The company would work on value addition projects.

It was presently engaged in manufacturing different types of clays mainly based on bentonite.

"There are two kinds of clays mainly used in processing of edible oil and extracting aromatic products from petro products comprising benzene, toluene and xylene in which bleaching clay and clay catalysts are used, priced at an estimated price of $400 and $1200 respectively," said Roy.

Ashapura Volclay produced both types of clays.

The clay catalyst was used in aromatic separation.

The company was also planning similar manufacturing facilities globally.

"We are planning to set-up similar plants engaged in value addition in Europe, central Asia, Africa, Malaysia and applicable equity patterns for investments there are being studied," said Roy.

Bleaching clay is mainly exported by the company to Europe, Asia and Africa. It was now planning to set up similar plants there.

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