Nalco aims to cut aluminium output cost by 9%

National Aluminium Company (Nalco) aims to reduce cost of aluminium production by 8 to 9 per cent by bringing in new energy efficient technology and ramping up metal output through brownfield expansion.

"Since the price of aluminium in the international market remains subdued and is likely to remain so for some time due to Chinese factor, we are working on a strategy to cut production cost and maintain profitability", said T K Chand, chairman cum managing director (CMD), Nalco.

The strategy hinges on two things. First, the company plans to add a new potline near its current smelter plant location at Angul based on the latest technology and second, going for modernisation of the existing potline at the smelter.

The company has recently decided to set up a new smelter of 0.4 million tonne capacity and 500 Mw power complex at Angul at an estimated investment of Rs 14,000 crore. For the new potline, it has identified to use AP-Xe technology which would reduce the consumption of electricity, a key input for aluminium making, by 700 kwh.

Similarly, in the existing smelter, it has decided to overhaul the potline by changing over to AP2x technology which is expected to bring down the energy consumption by 600 kwh.

"Energy constitutes a large chunk of aluminium output cost and our focus is to save cost by adopting energy efficient technology", Chand said.

In addition, the company is in talks with Iranian smelters for toll-smelting of its one million tonne of surplus alumina which is exported currently.

The price of aluminium is six times that of alumina. By converting the surplus alumina into aluminium by taking advantage of availability of low cost energy in a country like Iran, we can boost out topline and bottomline", Chand said, adding, ?ll these strategies together can cut aluminium output cost by 8 to 9 per cent and help boost the profitability of Nalco in a subdued market.

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