Nalco’s power woes ease with coal imports

Nalco’s power woes ease with coal imports


New Delhi: State-run National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco) has overcome a coal shortage that saw the closure of two power units at its only aluminium smelter, through imports and better local supplies, a company source said on Monday, 17 September.

The smelter at Angul in eastern Orissa state usually has seven power units running, each with a capacity of 120 MW. Together they need about 14,000 tonnes of coal a day. An eighth power unit is kept on standby.

But in late July the company had to shut two after local mines sent coal outside the state, trimming supplies to Nalco, and transport problems hit attempts to bag alternatives.

“We have placed orders for 120,000 tonnes of coal imports, out of which a shipment of about 50,000 tonnes has already arrived," a Nalco official, who could not be named, said.

“Now we have 10 to 12 days stocks," he added.

The official said coal supplies from Mahanadi Coal Field Ltd’s Bharat Mines in Orissa, with which Angul has a rail link, were now at about 12,000 tonnes a day.

“We are meeting the gap through imports," he said.

Angul has a daily aluminium output of slightly less than 1,000 tonnes a day and annual production of 350,000 tonnes. Output was not affected by the firm’s power woes.

The official added that the company was hopeful supplies from the local mines would improve still further in the coming months, but did not specify quantities.

He said the company also no longer needed to buy power from the state grid.