NALCO continues output cut as coal supply stays thin

October 20th, 2011 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 20 (IANS) The state-run National Aluminium Company Ltd continued to cut its daily aluminium output by ten percent because of the prevailing coal crisis, a senior company official said Thursday.

The production cut at its smelter in Orissa’s Angul town, about 160 km from here, is likely to continue for some more time as supply still remained thin, the official told IANS.

The smelter was operating for the last three months on three to four days coal stock. “We have currently only 60,000 tonnes that can last for only three days,” he said.

The crisis worsened early September when the smelter had to shut down 60 of its 931 operational pots. Another sixty pots were closed down later. “A total 120 pots continue to remain shut,” he said.

The pots are likely to be re-started only after the company is able to build adequate coal stocks. “It may happen in one week’s time,” he said.

Although the company has other options such as use of imported coal and purchase of power from the state grid, it is not a viable option, he said.

“If we produce now we have to use imported coal and buy power. It could be expensive and non-viable” he said.

NALCO, India’s third-largest aluminium maker, produces approximately 37,000 tonnes a month. The production has declined by about 4,000 tonnes during last one month, the official said.

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