Hindalco Odisha refinery start delayed to March

BHUBANESWAR Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:41pm IST

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BHUBANESWAR (Reuters) - Non-ferrous metals producer Hindalco Industries (HALC.NS) plans to start its 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery in Odisha by the end of March 2013, a company official said on Wednesday.

The plant, in Odisha's Rayagada district, was scheduled to start operations in January, but has been delayed due to slow progress of project work.

"We hope to commission the plant by end of March," S.K Mishra, a senior advisor at Utkal Alumina International Ltd (UAIL), a wholly-owned unit of Hindalco, told Reuters.

Hindalco's bauxite mining in the state, which was scheduled to start in October 2012, has also been delayed and may start by the end of this month, Mishra said.

The company initially aims to mine 4.3 to 4.4 mtpa of bauxite for the refinery, though it has permission to mine 8.5 million tonnes.

Hindalco, part of the Aditya Birla Group, is in the midst of trebling aluminium capacity to 1.9 million tonnes by 2013 at a cost of about $5 billion. Its U.S.-based subsidiary Novelis is the world's largest producer of rolled aluminium products.

On Wednesday, Hindalco shares closed 4.4 percent lower at 123.40 rupees in a Mumbai market that fell nearly one percent.

(Reporting by Jatindra Dash; Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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