Vedanta's aluminium output surges 38% in FY18, with ramp up of facilities

Vedanta Ltd has clocked a record aluminium production of 1.67 million tonnes in FY18, 38 per cent higher year-on-year (y-o-y), helped by a complete ramp-up of its BALCO-II smelter in Chhattisgarh and scaling up of additional pots at its Jharsuguda smelting facility.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2018, aluminium production moved up 35 per cent to 0.47 million tonnes. Production was higher seven per cent quarter-on-quarter. The company's stabilised aluminium production, excluding its trial run was 0.46 million tonnes in the quarter.

Of the four potlines at its Jharsuguda aluminium smelter, Vedanta has completed the ramp-up of its first two potlines. At the third line, 220 pots are powered on and their ramp-up was delayed due to infrastructure development works undertaken by the railway authorities for capacity enhancement, the company said in its production statement. The third line is expected to be fully ramped up by the end of September this year while the fourth line continues to be under evaluation.

Abhijit Pati, chief executive officer (aluminium), Jharsuguda of Vedanta could not be reached for his comments.

Vedanta's alumina production at its Lanjigarh refinery in Odisha was flat y-o-y at 1.2 million tonnes in the last financial year. For Q4 of FY18, alumina production was 0.35 million tonnes, higher 22 per cent quarter-on-quarter and seven per cent y-o-y. The company attributed this to de-bottlenecking of the refinery in Q3 of FY18 and consistent availability of bauxite.

Availability of domestic coal continues to be the focus area for the company management. “While materialisation of linkages has improved quarter-on-quarter, we are continuing to engage with Coal India to improve materialisation further and e-auction coal availability”, the company's statement said.

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