|State-owned major, National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco) and Iran .an Mines & Mining Industries Development Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore the possibility of setting up an aluminium smelter in Iran. The signing of the MoU coincides with the visit of prime minister Narendra Modi to Iran. |
The smelter- cum-gas based power plant, is slated to be part of a joint venture aluminium company to be set up by Nalco in that country. It will utilize supply of alumina from Nalco's refinery in India . The MoU also envisages tolling arrangement with existing smelters in Iran for producing aluminium from alumina supplied by Nalco and also proposes to look into other businesses.
"We look forward to using the low-cost gas-based energy available in Iran for conversion of its surplus alumina, presently exported to international markets , to bring in value addition and move up the value chain," Tapan Kumar Chand chairman of Nalco said.
The MoU was signed between Chand and vice chairman, Planning Board of Iran, in Tehran on Monday, in presence of Prime Minister Modi and President of Iran, a statement issued by Nalco said. While the official statement did not mention the level of investment that the two partners propose to take up for the proposed project, industry sources said it may require an investment in the region of Rs 10,000 crore. Incidentally, Nalco had revived the project soon after sanctions against Iran were lifted earlier this year.
The MoU envisages the setting up of a joint taskforce comprising NALCO and IMIDRO experts to work out the details of the project. The team would include comprising senior projects, operations and marketing executives of Nalco, directors of ministry of industries, government of Iran and senior executives of Iranian Aluminium Company (IRALCO) to finalise plans for a proposed smelter and gas-based power plant in Chabahar Free Trade Zone, Iran. Based on the report, ownership pattern, project financing, long-term supply of gas and other aspects of the project shall be decided. Nalco which is planning to emerge as a gobal player in metals and energy sector, has targeted a production of 68.25 lakh tonnes of bauxite and 21.50 lakh tonnes of alumina, in 2016-17 an increase of 7.1% and 9.2% respectively compared to the last fiscal.
Earlier, T K Chand had visited Iran as part of Indian business delegation, led by Dharmendra Pradhan , union minister for petroleum and natural gas . During the visit, Chand held discussions with deputy minister of industry, mines & trade, government of Iran, chairman of IMIDRO and top officials of Iran government and other aluminium companies.