Utkal alumina refinery to commence trial production

Bhubaneswar, May 13 (IANS) The Utkal Alumina International Limited (UAIL), a unit of Hindalco Industries, plans to start trial production at its 1.5 million tonnes per annum alumina refinery in Odisha by the end of May, an official said Monday.

The green field project at Doragurha near the district headquarters town of Rayagada, 400 km from here, was earlier scheduled for commissioning in January.

However, it was delayed due to slow progress of works. “We have finally completed all preparation and by the end of this month we are going to commence production,” the senior company official told IANS.

The plant will operate at 25 percent capacity in the beginning. Its capacity would be increased gradually, he said.

The plant is receiving coal to start the 90 MW captive power plant that will feed the refinery. “Every day we are receiving 1,000 tonnes of coal,” he said.

Similarly the company expects that it will start getting bauxite from its nearby mines within a week. A permit from the authority is mandatory to transport bauxite from the mines to the refinery.

The company has already applied for it and expects to get the approval in a few days, he said.

The mine at Baphilimali Hills in Rayagada district has a bauxite reserve of about 200 million tonnes. Utkal Alumina aims to mine 4.5 million tonnes per annum initially.

The UAIL, a subsidiary of Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Hindalco Industries, plans to send the alumina produced at the Rayagada refinery to two upcoming Hindalco smelter plants in Odisha’s Sambalpur district and Mahan plant in Madhya Pradesh, he said.

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