Bhubaneswar: Insufficient power supply has forced state-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) to cut it’s daily aluminium output by about 6%, a senior company official said on Saturday.
The disruption caused by a scarcity of coal, however, will not affect the company’s quarterly or yearly output target although the production may decline slightly by around 2,100-2,400 tonnes for a month, said A K Sharma, director (production).
Sharma said the shortfall will be subsequently made up by enhanced productions after receipt of coal.
NALCO, the country’s third-largest aluminium maker, produced 443,597 tonnes of aluminium solely out of the aluminium smelter at Angul in Orissa state in eastern India in 2010/11. It produces approximately 37,000 tonnes in a month.
Sharma said the smelter was operating 931 pots to produce between 1,200-1,300 tonnes of aluminium daily despite low power arrangement past several days.
He said 60 pots were shut down on Friday to ensure safe operation for the remaining pots.
He said the power plant that feeds the smelter was producing only 600-720 MW power over past 8-10 days against 900 MW usually.
“The shutting down of 60 pots will help the stabilisation of remaining pots. The shutdown pots will be re-started soon after building of coal stock,” Sharma said.
The company was receiving around 10,000 tonnes of linked coal daily for the past ten days from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL)-a unit of state-run Coal India, against a daily operating requirement of about 16,000 tonnes, he said.
NALCO needs to maintain a buffer coal stock of about 15 days, but the plant currently has stock that can last only two and a half days, he said.
“We are going ahead with bulk imports of coals in few days. We have also requested ministry of coal to help us” he said.
MCL chief A N Sahay told Reuters earlier this month a near week-long strike by contract labourers, a lethal outbreak of dengue and continuous rains were bottlenecks that hindered coal production.