Sterlite smelter can operate until at least July second week

NEW DELHI Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:38pm IST

A private security guard stands in front of the main gate of Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu March 24, 2013. REUTERS/Stringe/Files

A private security guard stands in front of the main gate of Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Tuticorin, in Tamil Nadu March 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringe/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's top copper smelter can reopen as scheduled and operate until at least the second week of July, when an expert panel will submit a report on the safety and environmental aspects of its operations, a Supreme Court judge said.

The smelter, run by Sterlite Industries STRL.NS, a unit of London-listed Vedanta (VED.L), was shut on March 30 after nearby residents complained of emissions that led to breathing problems.

The reopening of the plant, along with the end of a 35-day long shutdown of Hindalco Industries Ltd's (HALC.NS) Birla smelter, will gradually ease a supply shortage that has boosted imports and prices for the metal.

A further hearing will take place after the panel of experts submits its report, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra said.

The local pollution board in Tamil Nadu, which had originally ordered the smelter to shut at the end of March, took the case to the top court after the country's fast-track environmental court ruled against it.

The environmental court, the National Green Tribunal, said on May 31 the plant could reopen within a week in the presence of the expert panel.

The plant is yet to reopen as the expert panel has not met yet, a Sterlite source told Reuters on Monday.

"People are still waiting to see when they actually restart," said a Singapore-based physical trader. "The legal issue might be for the time being behind them, but now they have to start the plant, stabilise it, get the cathodes going into the rod plant."

Sterlite has said that it would take about five days to ramp up the plant to full capacity after it restarts.

The closure of the plant, which produces 30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month, or more than half of India's total production, has put cable makers such as Finolex Cables Ltd (FNXC.NS) and Precision Wires India Ltd (PRWR.NS) in a tight spot.

Vedanta has been exporting 4,000 tonnes of refined copper a month from Dubai to help some of Sterlite's customers offset the supply loss.

(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty, Krishna N Das in New Delhi and Melanie Burton in Singapore; Editing by Jo Winterbottom and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

E-Commerce Boom

E-Commerce Boom

Online grocers come up trumps in India's e-commerce boom   Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Read | Related 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Hughes Dies

Hughes Dies

Australia's Phil Hughes dies after being hit by ball  Full Article 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Low expectations for oil output cut  Full Article 

Jamini Roy

Jamini Roy

Photo Gallery – Bengali household name Jamini Roy’s paintings  Full Article 

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

Insight - Behind Google's Europe woes, American accents  Full Article 

India-focused Funds

India-focused Funds

India-focused hedge funds up over 40 pct YTD - HFR  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage