Nalco to invest 30,000 crores on expansion program by FY 2027-28: Prahlad Joshi

New Delhi: Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Prahlad Joshi has said that Nalco will invest Rs 30,000 crore in the company’s expansion and diversification plans by FY 2027-28. Shri Joshi was addressing the 41st Foundation Day celebrations of NALCO at the company’s headquarters in Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha.

Of the proposed investment, the company will spend Rs 7,000 crore on the fifth stream refinery, the Potangi Bauxite mine, South Block, and the Bauxite transport system from Utkal D and E coal mines. The remaining Rs 22000 crore will be spent on the expansion of the smelter and the captive power plant (CPP). The expansion includes the construction of 1400 MW feeder CPP at the company’s smelter plant in the Angul district of Odisha.

Joshi said that Nalco’s future ambitious plans would significantly contribute to the production and utilization of multiples of alumina and aluminum. The development plans will achieve the goal of self-reliant India under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Joshi said that the central government is extending all kinds of support to the mineral-rich state of Odisha so that there is no hindrance in the mineral production of the country. He said that in view of the request of the State Government, the Central Government will amend the relevant rules so that the mineral products can be done in a smooth manner and companies like mine blocks are kept away from the auction, which is not serious.

Joshi said that to specifically accelerate iron ore production in Odisha, Odisha Mineral Corporation has approved the proposal to allocate 02 iron ore mining blocks and Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited 01 block at the request of the state government.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (OMECL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) for the exploration of mine blocks of OMECL. This will reveal the mineral potential of the state through extensive survey and exploration. A waiver in standards is being considered to speed up the auction of mine blocks in Odisha.

In 2015, the Ministry of Mines introduced the auction system for the allocation of mineral blocks in India by amending the MMDR Act. As per the procedures laid down by this amendment, the lease period of 46 mineral blocks was expiring in March 2020. Most of these blocks were in Odisha. In order to keep the mineral production unobstructed, the Central Government, by implementing the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 in January 2020, empowered the State Governments to take the first steps for auction of mineral blocks so that the new lease before the completion of the current lease period A decision can be made about the holder. It was also arranged that the sanctions and clearances would be automatically transferred to the new owners of the mineral blocks for 2 years from the date of approval of the new lease. During this period, new owners will be able to apply for fresh approval. This helped the new owners to continue with the barrier-free mining operations.

Joshi said Nalco is setting up a world-class aluminum park in Angul near its smelter plant in collaboration with the Odisha government to encourage the development of downstream and ancillary industries in Odisha. This will increase employment in the region and give a boost to local enterprises.

National Aluminum Company Limited (NALCO) is a public sector Schedule-A Navratna company under the Ministry of Mines, Government of India. The company has a large integrated bauxite-alumina-aluminum-power complex in Asia. The company produces 32 percent bauxite, 33 percent alumina, and 12 percent aluminum in India. It is considered to be the lowest-cost producer of alumina and bauxite in the world. The company has businesses in more than 15 countries. Nalco is one of the highest-grossing foreign exchange companies in the country. The company operates in tribal-dominated Koraput and Angul in Odisha.