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Vedanta signs fresh MoU with State - Project to create direct job opportunity to 1,500 persons

Published by MAC on 2007-04-05

Vedanta signs fresh MoU with State - Project to create direct job opportunity to 1,500 persons

Special Correspondent, The Hindu

5th April 2007

Bhubaneswar: Sterlite Group company Vedanta Alumina * [see footnote] on Wednesday signed a fresh MoU with Orissa govt revising its earlier MoU for setting up of a one million tonne aluminium refinery, a smelter plant and two captive power plants in the State.

The MoU was first signed in June 2003 between Sterlite Industries Ltd. The revised MoU was necessiated because the company for Vedanta Alumina Ltd as a subsidiary to execute the project.

Further, the first MoU was signed only for the setting up of a one million tonne per annum capacity alumina refinery and a captive power plant of 100 MW capacity at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district of the State.

Subsequently, it had initiated steps to set up a smelter plant in Jharsuguda district of the State along with a bigger captive power plant.

The new MoU was signed for the alumina refinery and power plant at Lanjigarh and smelter plant of Rs 2.5 lakh tonne capacity and a power plant of 675 MW at Bhurkhamunda in Jharsuguda district with an aggregate investment of approximately Rs 8,400 crores.

The smelter plant will be used for processing alumina produced at the refinery at Lanjigarh to produce aluminium. About 50 per cent of the alumina produced at the refinery will be processed at the smelter plant and the rest will be sold outside.

Tax revenue

Secy of the Orissa Govt's Industry Dept Priyabrata Patnaik and Project Director of the company's smelter plant project M Siddiqi signed the MoU in the presence of Industry Minister Biswabhushan Harichandan.

Speaking on the occassion, Mr. Harichandan said that the whole project would create direct employment opportunities for 1500 persons and indirect employment for 7,500. The contribution towards tax revenue to the State would be approximately Rs 600 crores per annum, he added.

Multiplier effect

Mr. Harichandan also said that the project would have a huge multiplier effect in terms of tax revenue and development of downstream and ancillary industries.

Responding to queres soon after the MoU signing ceremony, Mr Siddiqi said that construction of the alumina refinery at Lanjigarh had been completed and test production had also been carried out.

The refinery, however, will be commissioned only after the company obtained the mining lease to extract bauxite.

The refinery had faced strong opposition from the local tribals and various organisations who were against the company's move to extract bauxite from the Niyamgiri hills which was in the close vicinity of the project.

At least three organisations had moved the Supreme Court opposing mining in Niyamgiri hills by the company. The matter is still pending before the apex court.

Mr Siddiqi said if the court order goes in favour of the petioners, the company would again approach the State Govt seeking allotment of another bauxite reserve in the region to meet its raw material requirement.

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