NALCO to start mining of Utkal-D coal block in Odisha

NALCO
National Aluminum Company (Nalco) has obtained the mining lease (ML) to develop its captive Utkal-D coal block from the Odisha government's steel & mines department. The ML for the coal block straddles an area of 301.28 hectares across Kosala, Nandichod, Similisahi and Raijharan villages under Chhendipada tehsil of Angul district, said Sridhar Patra, CMD of Nalco. He added that for a power-intensive industry like aluminum, it is very essential to have a secure supply of coal and the move will usher in a new era of development for the company. This is an important milestone for Nalco as captive coal production can cut aluminum smelting costs by 25 per cent. The depressed international prices and flagging domestic consumption has posed a challenge for the Indian primary aluminum companies to stay profitable. Nalco, though, has been able to overcome the business headwinds with its integrated business model and ranks amongst the most cost competitive producers of bauxite and alumina. Production from Utkal-D coal block could assuage coal supply woes for the government controlled aluminum maker. It may be recalled that the Utkal-D coal block was allocated to Nalco in May 2016. The lease deed for this block has been granted for 30 years. Separately, Nalco is in the process of obtaining ML grant for Utkal-E, a coal block granted concomitantly with Utkal-D. The combined coal production from the two coal blocks is envisaged at four million tons per annum, he said.

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