Raipur: Balco has signed an MoU with Chhattisgarh government to set up an aluminium smelter plant with a capacity of 6.5 million lakh tonnes per annum at Korba, involving an investment of Rs 8,100 crore.
The MoU was signed here on 8 August in the presence of Chief Minister Raman Singh and Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agrawal.
After completion of the project, Balco, a part of Vedanta, would become one of the largest single location aluminium plants in the world with a combined capacity of one million tonnes per annum, taking into account its existing capacity, Agrawal said.
Despite lack of bauxite in Chhattisgarh, we decided to have the 6.5 lakh tonnes plant here, he said.
“We had the pressure from Middle-East and other places. But I had decided to have the plant here,” Agrawal added.
Stating that the plant would be completed in two years time, he said, if the state government cooperates and a special economic zone is established in Korba area they are ready to provide cheaper power to the industries there.
“Chhattisgarh has a bigger community of traders and we will provide cheaper power to them if they set up industries there and I have also asked my Balco officials to give top priority to the local traders,” he said.
However, he made it clear that the new plant would be set up only if the state government provides land.
“And if land is not alloted to Balco, we will not set up our plant here,” he said adding the officials are more cooperative here than the politicians.
Replying to a question about encroachment of about 1,000 acres of land by Balco, Agrawal claimed all those lands have been in the possession of company since its PSU days and not after its disinvestment days in 2001.
Balco had earlier obtained a court stay against the initiative of the state government on the encroachment of land by the company.
Chief Minister Raman Singh said the state government also wanted an aluminium park here in the state and he was happy to learn that Balco was ready to provide cheaper power for industrialists there.
Chhattisgarh’s 45% population is below poverty line and 44% are scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and such a huge investment would benefit those under privileged section of the society, Raman said.
Singh also praised the Vedanta group for setting up a modern cancer hospital here, the foundation stone of which was laid yesterday evening by Agrawal and himself in the capital.