New Delhi: “India’s National Aluminium Co Ltd (NALCO) has begun receiving imported coal to overcome the shortages which forced it to cut alumina output in July but stocks remain thin,” a top official said.
A.K. Sharma, executive director at NALCO, informed that a shipment of 30,000 tonnes of coal had already arrived while another of the same size would soon be delivered.
He said that a third cargo of 100,000 tonnes was expected within a week to ten days. “We had planned total imports of 330,000 tonnes. The balance 170,000 tonnes is still under process,” he added.
Sharma said that state-run trading firms were importing the coal for NALCO, mainly from Indonesia.
“The company’s coal stocks were just sufficient to meet three days’ demand,” officials said.
“We are still in a hand-to-mouth situation,” said another company official.
Earlier this month, NALCO resumed normal production at its Damanjodi alumina refinery in the eastern state of Orissa after output was curtailed in July due to a coal shortage.
Domestic coal supplies are expected to improve only after the monsoon rains end in September.
Sharma said that the company is also making efforts to buy more coal from local suppliers, including through electronic auctions.