India’s National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has secured coal supplies for its operations through a 30-year mining grant for Utkal-D block in the state of Odisha, according to a notification issued on April 16.
Nalco plans to open the coal block in the financial year 2020-21. The initial annual capacity of Utkal-D coal block is 2mn mt with a total mineable reserve of 101.68mn mt.
Last year in October, Nalco had to cut production by 50pc due to a shortage of coal. The company shut 277 electrolytic pots in phases. Nalco is dependent on state-owned enterprise Mahanadi Coalfields for supply of coal to its captive power plant in Angul and steam and power plant at Damanjodi. Nalco requires around 17,000mt coal per day. In October, Nalco faced a shortfall of 7,000-8,000mt coal per day.
It is very essential to have a secure supply of coal for a power-intensive industry like aluminium and mining coal from Utkal-D block will significantly aid the company’s bottom line, said Sridhar Patra, CMD of Nalco in a release.
Utkal-D coal block along with Utkal-E coal block were allocated to Nalco in May 2016. Nalco is in the process of obtaining a mining lease grant for Utkal-E block. The combined production capacity of these blocks is 4mn mt coal per year.