Report by Rashmi r Parida; Bhubaneswar: National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), a Navratna PSU under Ministry of Mines, Govt of India, has placed order to import two lakh tonnes of coal to tide over the present crisis.
The decision was taken by a Committee of Directors on Tuesday evening. Sourcing coal from Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited), NALCO’s 1200 MW thermal captive power plant at Angul in Orissa supplies power to the company’s aluminium smelter located nearby. The imported coal would start arriving after a week, sources said.
“We were losing around one crore rupees everyday due to short supply of coal from the linkage provided to us by MCL,” says Shri B.L. Bagra, CMD of NALCO. “We have been receiving on an average 7400 tonnes of coal per day through this linkage for the past two weeks, as against our daily requirement of 12,000 tonnes, primarily due to heavy rainfall. As a result, we were constrained to shut down 60 out of 960 operational pots from last Thursday at our Smelter to ensure safe operations of the remaining pots. However, it’s a temporary closure,” Shri Bagra clarified.
NALCO’s smelter produces approximately 37,000 tonnes of metal a month. Although the production may decline slightly by around 2100 to 2400 tonnes for a month due to the disruption, the coal crisis however will not affect the company's annual output targets, Shri Bagra added.
“To overcome the crisis, we reached out to Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Coal and Railways authorities. The Coal Ministry advised MCL to arrange supply of coal from other mines located in Talcher and Ib areas. In turn, MCL has responded to open supplies from Hingula and Kanika mines. The movement from these mines has helped NALCO in salvaging the situation. The smelter is still operating with the help of State grid to the extent of receiving 100 MW of power regularly,” Shri Bagra concluded.