In a major relief for aluminium major Nalco, the Centre has allocated two coal blocks – Utkal D and E – in favour the company, which has already set up a 4.6 lakh tonne smelter and 1,200 MW Captive Power Plant in Odisha’s Angul district.
“The company’s smooth operation and expansion plans hinged on the allocation of these blocks,” said T K Chand, CMD, Nalco.
“With allocation of the two coal blocks, 200 million tonnes of coal will be added to Nalco’s captive resources, which will see the company through the next three decades and more,” Chand said.
Though the Utkal E coal block was allotted to Nalco in 2004, it was later cancelled in the wake of a Supreme Court judgement.
As the company had already spent Rs 126.34 crore for this block, including Rs 98 crore towards compensation against land acquisition, Nalco was worried over its investment.
This apart, the company had also spent considerably on infrastructural facilities and various CSR activities in the area of the coal block.
However, the cancellation of allocation of Utkal E Coal block following Supreme Court’s order to de-allocate 204 coal blocks across the country came as a setback to the company.
Nalco was pursuing with the Centre for re-allocation of the coal block under the allocation route, as the end-use investment had already been made.
Chand said the allocation of coal block would enable the company meet its expansion plans.
“A sense of gratitude and euphoria has engulfed the entire company, since this momentous decision is intricately woven with the dreams and aspirations of Nalco,” Chand added.