April 11, 2018 / 7:05 AM / 9 days ago

Vedanta says Indian copper smelting plant expansion on track

April 11 (Reuters) - Vedanta Resources Plc said on Wednesday its plans for capacity expansion at the Thootukudi copper smelting plant in southern India were on track, a day after its application to renew operations was rejected by the state pollution regulator.

Vedanta said on Tuesday its application for renewal of consent to operate its copper smelting plant, one of India’s biggest, in the state of Tamil Nadu, was rejected by the state pollution control board.

People in Thootukudi have been protesting against the proposed expansion of the smelter, thronging the streets and shutting shops to press their demand for closure of the plant.

Vedanta says the protests are based on “false allegations” and the company has been providing “regular information through various media on the truth”. The company plans to double capacity at the smelter to 800,000 tonnes per year.

The smelter, run by Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper unit, is controlled by Vedanta Ltd, a majority-owned subsidiary of London-listed Vedanta Resources.

The unit is currently closed as part of a 15-day scheduled maintenance, which would likely to be extended, the company said on Tuesday. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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