Report by Sangram Ranjan Nath, Angul: Nalco has dipped into serious crisis as 60 pots in its smelter have been shut down due to non-availability of coal. Since last 8 years, Nalco has miserably failed to arrange its coal requirement while only giving priority to expansion of the smelter.
Due to the scarcity of coal, six out of the total 12 units of Nalco’s power plant are producing only 700 MW of electricity. As a result, Nalco is importing around 270 MW of power daily from the GRID at a cost of Rs 7 instead of Rs 2.70 per unit. For this, the production cost of aluminum has increased and Nalco has incurred heavy loss.
Owing to a series of problems in the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) such as strikes, road block and dengue outbreak, coal production has been abruptly disrupted and the MCL has supplied only 4,000 to 5,000 tonnes of coal instead of the required 11,500 tonnes to Nalco since last few days.
Despite such a crisis, Nalco has failed to procure local coal due to vested interest of some of its officials. The tender file for the purpose has not been cleared since last six months. Besides, Nalco has also failed to operate its captive coalmines. Non-arrangement of coal from the coal-rich Talcher-Angul region by the company is now considered as a man-made crisis.
In other hand The Nalco Executive director Mr. PR Choudhry told to Orissa diary .com the strategic shutdown decision may temporarily save the plant from a pot debacle, but failure to procure local coal or likely to lead to a bigger disaster shortly.