Witnessing demand recovery, state-owned National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) has planned to marginally increase its aluminium output. The company had early this week reopened 10 aluminium-producing pots at its Angul smelter in Odisha.
Last fiscal, Nalco had reduced its capacity utilisation by a third because of the sluggish aluminium market and lower LME realisation and coal shortage. It had shut down 329 of its total 960 pots or 4.6 lakh tonnes a year of its smelter. Now the number of operational pots has gone up to 641. A Nalco pot can produce 1.37 tonnes a day.
According to Nalco CMD, Angsuman Das, “It’s a small, but significant step” considering the change in the outlook. Nalco, which is yet to announce the results of Q4 of 2013-14, today said in a statement that it was running profitably.
Of late, LME aluminium prices, the premiums over LME prices for export and domestic market sale, as well a weak rupee against dollar has given Nalco incentives to increase production.
Meanwhile, Nalco expects to make its 4-channel 25 km and Rs 190-crore fly ash slurry project operational by December this year.
The project is to carry ash from of the company’s captive power plant at Angul to Mahanadi Coalfield’s Bharatpur mines in the same district. The slurry ash would be used to fill the exhausted mine pits. The project execution, which is running late, may complete the work of laying the first channel by September.