Facing Coal Shortage, Nalco Shuts Captive Power Plant

Navratna public sector unit National Aluminium Company Ltd. is faced with coal shortage leading to closure of three units of the company's captive power plant and curtailment of production.

While the aluminium major requires at least 17,500 metric tonnes of coal everyday, it’s getting only 13,000 MT from Bharatpur mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.

The company had to close down three units of its captive power plant, a Nalco official said adding that each of the units has a production capacity of 120 megawatt. “The coal crunch is affecting Nalco and its profitability,” Nalco Chairman and Managing Director Tapan Kumar Chand said on the sidelines of a function here. He said he has sought immediate solution to the coal crisis.

The company is able to run its refinery by borrowing 120 MW power from GRIDCO. Only 875 of 980 aluminium smelter pots are in operation due to lack of power supply, the official said.

Nalco has a provision of stocking 5 lakh MT of coal, but only 70,000 MT is now in the store, which may meet requirement of only six days. State Energy, Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said, "I will take up the matter with the authorities and Coal Ministry."