The plant, at Doraguha, near Kasipur in Odisha's Rayagada district, is owned by Utkal Alumina International Ltd (UAIL), a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries, which is part of the Aditya Birla Group (the parent company of USA-based Novelis).

While the trial is likely to start during the last week of May, commercial production will take another three to five months.

The plant has a 1.5Mt/yr capacity and will receive raw material (bauxite) from UAIL's mine at Baphilimali, which is around 17km from the Doraguha refinery.

Odisha has been in the spotlight recently following Vedanta Aluminium's closure of its 1Mt/yr alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in the Kalihandi district. Vedanta was unable to source enough bauxite and was forced to close down the plant.

The UAIL refinery has been on the cards since 1992 and initially involved Norsk Hydro and Tata Sons as joint venture partners. They both pulled out and then Alcan sold its stake in 2007.