Unable to mine bauxite from the Niyamgiri Hills following its mining proposals for the region being rejected by all 12 tribal councils, Vedanta is relying upon neighbouring states to supply bauxite to its Lanjigarh refinery, which is running at a depleted capacity of 30-40%.
Nalco is exporting over 1Mt of its surplus alumina, but could earn extra revenue by supplying it to Vedanta for its Jharusguda smelter.
SK Roongta, managing director of Vedanta, has written a letter to the Odisha chief secretary imploring him to impress upon Nalco the need for it to divert its surplus alumina to Jharusguda. The state government is awaiting comments from Nalco's chairman and managing director, Ansuman Das.
Vedanta has two smelters in Jharusguda: one has a 500kt annual capacity and is attached to a captive power station and downstream facilites for wire rod and billets. The other smelter has a 1.2Mt/yr capacity is located in a special economic zone (SEZ) and has yet to be commissioned due to non-availabiity of alumina.
Vedanta has approached Nalco before, but has been turned down, despite being offered top dollar for the company's surplus alumina.