The High-Level Clearance Authority (HLCA), the apex body to clear investment projects in Odisha, approved a new greenfield alumina refinery unit, proposed by Aditya Birla Group-owned Hindalco Industries. It is estimated to cost Rs 8,000 crore, is proposed to come up at Kansariguda near Rayagada in Odisha.
With an envisaged nameplate capacity of two million tonnes per annum, the project is expected to spawn employment for 4,250 people. Hindalco will bank on the Odisha government on raw material for feeding the refinery. This project is scheduled to go on stream in four to five years. Bauxite from any of the leases of Odisha Mining Corporation is likely to feed the planned refinery of Hindalco.
The alumina refining unit is planned at the foothills of the Kodingamali bauxite lease, currently under OMC’s leasehold. Hindalco already has 1,500 acres for this refinery. The rest 600 acres needed for the project will be made available by the state authorities.
This will be Hindalco’s second alumina refining complex in Odisha after the Utkal Alumina refining project, also in the Rayagada district. The Utkal refinery is fed by the company’s captive Baphlimali bauxite mines, with enough reserves to cater to the refinery’s requirement for 25 years after its ramp-up. The mine contains a very low amount of reactive silica.
Hindalco has pledged Rs 5,000 crore to ramp up the capacity of the Utkal refinery to three million tonnes per annum.
Alongside Hindalco, the HLCA approved NTPC’s proposal to scale up the capacity of its coal-fired thermal power station at Talcher Thermal. The power plant named Talcher Thermal Power Station (TTPS) is undertaking the next stage expansion, adding two supercritical units of 660 Mw, each at a cost of Rs 7,698.46 crore. NTPC TTPS presently has a rated capacity of 460 Mw. Aside from TTPS, NTPC operates 3000 Mw super thermal power station at Kaniha. Separately, the maharatna utility is pursuing a 1600 Mw power plant at Darlipalli in the Sundargarh district.
Moreover, the HLCA gave the go-ahead to Rungta Mines to ramp up the capacity of its existing integrated steel plant threefold from 0.9 million tonnes per annum to 0.27 million tonnes per annum at an investment of Rs 2,135 crore. Following the scale-up, the project will generate additional employment for 2,289 people.
In all, the HLCA approved investment projects worth Rs 17,833 crore. The combined employment potential of the three projects is 6,539 new jobs. Chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the HLCA also appraised the status of investment intents received during the first two editions of Make in Odisha organized in 2016 and 2018.