Mumbai: India’s second biggest aluminium producer National Aluminium Co. (Nalco) will resume full production from Wednesday after a strike cut the supply of coal to its Orissa power station.
Daily aluminium production dropped by 30% since 20 June after supplies from Coal India Ltd to the 960MW power plant were disrupted by a strike that began 17 June, C.R. Pradhan, chairman of the Bhubaneswar-based company, said on Monday over the phone.
The strike is the second time in less than a year that Nalco has been forced to lower power output because of disruption in coal supplies.
Nalco, which produces 345,000 tonnes of aluminium and 1.6 million tonnes (mt) of alumina annually from its Orissa plant, is developing a coal mine with 2mt of reserves to secure supplies, Pradhan said.
“Securing coal supplies is imperative as dependence on external suppliers makes one very vulnerable,” said Niraj Shah, an analyst at Centrum Broking Pvt. Ltd.
Nalco fell as much as Rs23.20, or 5.41%, to Rs405.30, on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday.
Striking truck drivers at a unit of Coal India halted shipment of the fuel from Talcher to Angul district, where Nalco’s power plant is based. The strike ended on 22 June.
“The coal supply has been restored since yesterday but we will first build our reserves and then restore supply,” he said.
The company plans to build up reserves for two days production. Nalco needs 14,000 tonnes of coal daily to run its aluminum smelter and alumina refinery at full capacity, he said.