Nalco, Canada's Almex to forge JV for Rs 25 bn auto-grade aluminium unit

The project between Nalco and Almex is envisaged to have an annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes
National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) has firmed up plans to set up a joint venture with Ontario (Canada)-based Almex for the production of automotive-grade aluminium. The project, estimated to cost Rs 25 billion, will come up at the downstream aluminium park at Angul (Odisha) in the vicinity of Nalco’s aluminium smelting unit.

The Nalco-Almex JV unit would be spread across 50 acres at the park. The entire aluminium park, in which Nalco and state government-owned Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) are joint equity partners, has been developed on 240 acres of land.

“Almex has responded to our EoI (Expression of Interest). Our JV with them is aimed at production of auto-grade aluminium and also of special alloys that find applications in aerospace. In India, aluminium makes its way into barely 300 applications compared with over 3,000 applications worldwide. Nalco will have the majority equity in the JV. Financial institutions could also have stake in the project,” said T K Chand, chairman & managing director, Nalco.

The project between Nalco and Almex is envisaged to have an annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes. Nalco, on its part, has committed supply of 50,000 tonnes a year of molten aluminium to downstream companies that chose to install their units at the park. The navratna company has also offered to lend its brand name to products made within the park. To position the park as attractive and globally competitive for investors, Nalco has announced pricing discounts on sale of molten aluminium and ingots to downstream buyers. 

The aluminium major is providing a pricing discount of Rs 5,000 a tonne on aluminium ingots and Rs 4,000 a tonne on molten metal. Since land cost was seen as a deterrent to potential investors, Idco has announced that it has brought down the price to Rs five million per acre from Rs six million. The concession on land price, however, is valid till June 30 this year. Given the array of incentives, downstream units can expect to save Rs 10,000 a tonne on production cost. 

The aluminium park has bagged one overseas investment from Bahrain-based Midal Cables. The company has proposed a rod and wire conductor unit at the park at an investment of about Rs 3.6 billion, with an annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes. Grid Conductors Ltd, a subsidiary of Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL), has proposed to establish an aluminium and aluminium alloy conductor unit in Odisha, committing an investment of Rs 1.3 billion.

There is a proposal by Gupta Power Infrastructure Ltd to set up a facility for HT (high-tension) cables within the aluminium park at a cost of Rs 1.9 billion. 


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