|After years of negotiations and feasibility studies, state-owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (GMDC) and central public sector undertaking (PSU) National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) have decided to drop the Rs. 5,400 crore alumina refinery.|
In its 54th annual report for the year 2016-17, GMDC stated that citing nonviability of the project, NALCO has asked the state PSU to drop the project. A joint venture between GMDC and NALCO with the former having a 26 per cent stake, the alumina refinery was supposed to come up as part of the Rs 15,000 crore aluminium park in Kutch being set up by the state government.
According to GMDC, the detailed project report (DPR) prepared by NALCO found the 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) plant "unviable".
"Land required for the project has been allocated by Government and part possession has been taken. Process for obtaining possession of a remaining portion of land also is in progress. DPR for 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) plant got prepared by NALCO and is not viable. Hence they have requested GMDC to drop the project and the same is under the approval of Govt. of Gujarat," GMDC stated in its annual report.
"Based on the DPR, both the companies mutually decided not to proceed with the project," GMDC's annual report further read.
As a result, an "up front payment" of Rs 151 crore made by NALCO for setting up the refinery and smelter plant will be refunded by GMDC, the company stated in its annual report. "The company has initiated the process for repayment of the amount to NALCO without interest subject to the approval of Government of Gujarat," it stated.
With NALCO being mooted as a potential JV partner in 2011, GMDC's project had envisaged a 500,000 tonnes of smelter as well as one million tonnes of refined alumina per annum capacity. Around 100 hectares of land, of the total 300 hectares had been acquired for the project.