New Delhi: Vedanta Resources Plc. expects aluminium output to rise to about 500,000 tonnes in the year to March 2009, up 28% from about 390,000 tonnes in the previous year, a senior company official said.
“Vedanta’s total aluminium production is expected to be close to half a million tonnes this year,” Pramod Suri, chief executive officer for aluminium, said in a telephone interview. Suri said the company was also hoping to start construction work on an aluminium smelter and a power plant in West Bengal in three to four months, where it would invest a total of Rs20,000 crore.The project comprises a 650,000- tonne aluminium smelter and a 1,500MW power plant.
Suri said the firm would start work in about three months on another 650,000-tonne aluminium smelter in Korba in Chhattisgarh. The unit is expected to cost Rs8,100 crore.
Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd already runs two smelters in Korba that are expected to produce about 370,000 tonnes of aluminium in 2008-09, up from 350,000 tonnes a year earlier.
London-listed Vedanta has aluminium, zinc, copper, silver and lead operations in India, Australia and Zambia. Suri, who was speaking from Lanjigarh in Orissa where Vedanta is building a refinery, said he expected India’s aluminium consumption would rise by 6-7% annually over the next three to five years.
India produces a little more than a million tonnes of aluminium every year. Demand has been boosted by new homes, offices and automobiles in an economy that has grown at about 9% annually in the past few years.