Nalco eyes Tajikistan, Congo for investment in smelters

June 5th, 2008 - 11:26 am ICT by IANS  


Bhubaneswar, June 5 (IANS) National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco), India’s second biggest producer of aluminium, Thursday said it is exploring the possibility of investing in smelters in Tajikistan and Congo. The company, which is also planning to set up smelter and power projects in Indonesia, South Africa and Iran, said it is eying Tajikistan and Congo because hydel power is cheaply available in those countries.

“We may go to Tajikistan and Congo to invest in smelters,” Nalco chairman and managing director C.R. Pradhan said.

“A lot of hydel power is cheaply available there and we find that they are not able to manage it. Tajikistan has already written to us and we are exploring the possibility of investing there and in Congo,” he said.

Incorporated in 1981 as a public sector enterprise, Nalco is one of Asia’s largest integrated aluminium complexes, encompassing bauxite mining, alumina refining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port operations.

Commissioned in 1985-87, Nalco has emerged as a star performer in the production and export of alumina and, more significantly, in propelling self-sustained growth.

While its registered office is in Bhubaneswar, its plants are located at Damanjodi in Orissa’s southern district of Koraput and in Angul district.

The company, which is a flagship public sector undertaking of the ministry of mines, was granted Navratna status by the central government last month.

The Navratna status is conferred on select central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) when they become significant players in the economic development of the country.

The Navratna status has enabled Nalco to enjoy more managerial powers and commercial autonomy to chart its own course in the world market.

In order to emerge as a company of global repute, the company Wednesday said it has drawn up ambitious growth plans to invest around Rs.400 billion in the next five years on its various expansion projects both in India and abroad.

Earlier this year, Nalco signed a deal with Indonesia to set up a 500,000-tonne smelter and a 1,250 MW captive power plant in that country. Nalco plans to invest around Rs.140 billion in this greenfield project.

Nalco is also exploring the possibility of setting up a smelter and power plant in South Africa at an investment of around Rs.160 billion. In Iran, a 310,000 tonne smelter has been planned.

Nalco is not only planning several projects abroad but also is planning brownfield and greenfield growth projects within the country, Pradhan said.

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