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Anrak Aluminium steps up effort to revive Vizag refinery

Thursday, Jun 21, 2018

   Anrak Aluminium Limited (AAL), a joint venture of Penna Group and Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, is making all-out efforts to start operations at its refinery at Makavaripalem in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. AAL is planning to arrive at a one-time settlement with the SBI-led consortium of banks for commissioning the 1.5-million tonne alumina refinery.

  The refinery was set up a few years ago after the acquisition of 2,300 acres through the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation at Rachapalli, 80 km from here. The project was completed, along with a 72x3-MW captive power plant, in 2013 with a total investment of ?6,000 crore — almost half of it as loan through the consortium.
  The insolvency proceeding pending before the National Company Law Tribunal was recently stayed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
  Though the Eastern Ghat areas of Visakhapatnam inhabited by Girijans contain huge deposits of bauxite ore, several attempts at mining in the area failed due to the opposition from tribals and political parties.
  NPA loan
  After bifurcation of the State, the Telugu Desam Government in AP scrapped the MoU signed with AAL for supply of bauxite ore from Jerrela and other blocks through the AP Mineral Development Corporation. “Even before launching of production, the banks declared the loan borrowed from them as NPA. Now, we are in an advance stage of coming to a settlement for the removal of the NPA tag and launching the refinery operations by sourcing bauxite ore from Gujarat and Odisha and also outside India,” AAL Vice-President (Works) LS Rao said in an interview.
  The MoU for the investment by AAL was signed by the undivided Andhra Pradesh in 2007. The company sourced three lakh tonnes of bauxite ore through the Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation in 2012. It also bought 60,000 tonne extracted from Kodangmali mines through the Orissa Mining Company in an auction.
  “We also want to source raw material from Australia, Guinea and Indonesia to ensure continuous production at our refinery,” he said. He said AAL would invest over ?8,000 crore in the second phase by building the smelter plant. The company will need 4.5 million tonnes of bauxite ore per annum to operate at full capacity.
  The company provides direct employment to 200 and indirectly to 400. “Once we start the refinery, the direct employment will go up to 500 and the indirect to over 2,000, benefiting mostly the people from project-affected areas,” he added.

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