MUMBAI (Reuters) - Diversified miner Vedanta said on Thursday its 500,000 tonne aluminium smelter in Odisha was hit by a power outage this week that damaged over one-third of its processing capacity.
The company said 228 out of a total of 608 pots that process molten aluminium were damaged by the outage.
“The impacted pots will require to be repaired over the next few months, and put back into production. Timelines will be announced in due course,” the statement said.
The per day output of each pot is about 2.5 tonnes, a source familiar with the company’s operations said.
The incident could result in a loss of roughly 30,000 tonnes of production in the next three months, a customer who does business with the company told Reuters. That would equate to roughly 25 percent of the plant’s quarterly production.
“It usually takes three months in case of damaged pots to bring them back to production,” the customer said.
Vedanta runs two smelters at its Jharsuguda plant, the second is a 1.25 million tonnes smelter.
Aluminium production is a highly power intensive activity and requires constant supply of power 24 hours a day. Any power supply cut beyond four hours could lead to molten aluminium solidifying in the pots leading to wastage of metal and cost to the company. “This requires an expensive rebuilding process,” said a note available on the company’s website.
The recovery process is underway, however, the scope of the impact is being analysed, two Vedanta executives said.
Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Euan Rocha and David Evans