The state-owned National Aluminium Company (NALCO) has started exploratory discussions to set up a nuclear power plant with the backing of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) in Ganjam district of Orissa.
Chittaranjan Pradhan, chairman and managing director of the National Aluminium Company, told reporters that a power plant is being built at Jharsuguda. A smelter plant in Iran is on the cards. In addition, NALCO proposes to build coal-based power plant in Indonesia.
According to A K Sharma, NALCO’s director for production, setting up a nuclear power plant is “an additional business line” which will help the company earn money by being an independent producer of power.
However, both Pradhan and Sharma declined to divulge the amount of money that NALCO would invest in the planned nuclear power plant.
National Aluminium Company, the third largest aluminium-manufacturer in India, produced 361,262 tonnes of aluminium in the fiscal 2008-09 ending March. The company has a 960-megawatt thermal-power plant in Angul in Orissa which feeds its aluminium smelter plant in Orissa.
According to Chittaranjan Pradhan, the NALCO administration’s commitment as well as the joint efforts made by the residents and the company’s authorities have brought about development and made the people self-reliant in the villages adjoining the company’s project in Damanjodi.
He said the company’s machinery at the Damanjodi had been upgraded “to match the best in the industry.” However, the input still cost stays high – with 21% of the total costs accounting for human resource management.
Pradhan stressed that there is a need to come up with better results with minimum inputs, more so at a time when the aluminum-making sector is facing hard times because of the global economic depression.
NALCO, he added, is planning huge expansion both in India as well as overseas by maximum utilisation of its human resource. High-grade bauxite reserves of the mines at Pottangi would support the third-phase expansion of the plant. The process for acquiring the mines is in its final stage.
The deals to acquiring mining areas at Gudem and K R Konda mining sites at Chintapalli in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh and some other places in the Godavari region of the state would be finalised soon.