Nalco plans to diversify into nuclear power

Nalco plans to diversify into nuclear power

Bhubaneswar: Buoyed by 31% jump in net profit at 1,069 crore in 2010-11, Nalco plans to diversify into nuclear power investing 11,450 crore, but may move out of Orissa for its new smelter and power project in view of uncertainty on location.

“The company earned a net profit after tax of 1,069 crore in 2010-11 as compared to 814 crore in previous year, registering a jump of 31%," Nalco chairman B L Bagra said addressing its annual general meeting.

Similarly, sales revenue during the year at 5,959 crore was higher by 904 crore, an increase of 18% as compared to the previous year, he said.

Rise in profit was because of higher sales, Bagra said adding the results would have been still better, but for the adverse impact of exchange rate of rupee on sales, which made a dent of 159 crore during the year.

Operating cost was higher by 399 crore, an increase of 10% over previous year due to increase in the prices of coal, fuel oil and wage revision, he said.

Nalco achieved highest-ever domestic metal sale of 3,40,752 tonnes surpassing the previous record of 2,89,032 tonnes in 2009-10. It was 17.9% higher than last year.

Total metal sale of the company in 2010-11 was 4,38,952 tonnes, which is the highest-ever, surpassing previous best of 4,35,979 tonnes achieved during the previous year, he said.

On future plans, the chairman said Nalco had identified Kakarapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) - 3 & 4 project for development, jointly with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd at a cost of 11,450 crore. The recommendation for the investment is under consideration by the government.

Bagra said the company had been pursuing to set up a smelter and power project in Orissa. However, considering uncertainty on location, company might have to explore for an alternate location elsewhere in the country, he said.

Nalco is actively pursuing to set up a smelter and power project in Indonesia, primarily because of availability of good quality coal at economic price. Two coal mining firms have been identified for long-term arrangement for sourcing coal for the planned project, he said.

As part of diversification endeavour, the company has placed orders to set up a 50.4 MW wind power plant in Andhra Pradesh at an investment of 274 crore, Bagra said.

The plant is expected to be commissioned by February 2012. Establishment of the wind power plant will partially meet Nalco’s obligation to source power from renewable source of energy as mandated by National Action Plan for Climate Change, he said.

Due to unfavourable ground conditions in the area surrounding the bauxite mines in Gudem and KR Konda blocks in Andhra Pradesh, Nalco is moving cautiously on field activities for the proposed mines and refinery project, he said.

Referring to Angul Aluminium Park, he said the joint venture with Orissa Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) has taken off with the company having 49.5% equity. Activity of acquisition of land is in process.

On expansion projects, Bagra said all segments of 2nd phase expansion had been commissioned. The facilities commissioned as part of 2nd phase expansion at Alumina Refinery are under stabilization.

The upgradation of 4th stream of Alumina Refinery from 0.525 million tonnes to 0.70 million tonnes and that of Bauxite Mines from 6.3 million tonnes to 6.825 million tonnes, at an estimated project cost of 409 crore, is scheduled to be commissioned by June, 2012, the chairman said.

Upgradation of smelter potlines from 180 KA to 220 KA at an estimated investment of 1,500 crore for both smelter and captive power plant is under implementation. On completion of the project by 2017, capacity of the smelter plant would go up by one lakh tonnes per year, he said.

Utkal-E Coal Block with estimated reserves of around 70 million tonnes shall cater to the requirement of 9th and 10th units of CPP. The project is estimated to cost 280 crore. The coal block is likely to become operational by June, 2012, Bagra said. In the value-added segment, Nalco sold 20,126 tonnes of rolled products, surpassing the previous highest sale of 15,092 tonnes achieved in 2009-10. During the year, the company exported 4,614 tonnes of billets, after a gap of almost a decade.

“You will be happy to note that your company added T-ingot to its product range, which is first of its kind in the country," Bagra said.

The chairman further said that with vigorous efforts, the company could successfully comply with various requirements for getting the mining lease over south block of Panchpatmali Bauxite Mines.