The State-owned aluminium major NALCO plans to spend Rs 900 crore by next fiscal on nuclear power ventures, for which it had signed a joint-venture agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in November.

As per the plan, the investments will be made on unit 3 and 4 of Kakarapar Atomic Power Station (KAPS) in Gujarat, a senior company official said, adding that both the units are of 700 MW each.

The official further said that “NALCO would be investing Rs 300 crore in the current quarter on the project, in lieu of its 26 per cent stake, while rest of the money will be invested in next fiscal“.

Both the units of KAPS entail a total investment of Rs 7,000 crore and are planned to be commissioned by 2015.

The company, which currently has the permission of having only 26 per cent stake in nuclear power ventures, is talking to the government for increasing the limit to 49 per cent, the official added.

In case of increase in its stake, the aluminium major would invest more money on the developments of both the units of KAPS, the official said.

Venturing into the nuclear power sector is part of NALCO’s future growth plans, under which it aims become a diversified metals, mining and power producing company, with an estimated turnover of over Rs 25,000 crore by 2020.

As per the plan, the company would venture into power sector as an independent producer and once the generation capacity goes up substantially, the business will be hived off into a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The aluminium major produces about 1,200 MW for captive uses and has been planning to bid for upcoming ultra mega power projects.

The company had also announced to set up a 50 MW wind mill in Andhra Pradesh for about Rs 274 crore. Besides, it is also looking to diversify into other metal segments like copper and uranium.

Last year, the company completed second phase of its expansion at an investment of Rs 4,402 crore. Post expansion, NALCO has an alumina refinery capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and an aluminium smelter of 4.6 MTPA. It also has bauxite mining capacity of 6.3 MT.

(This article was published on February 19, 2012)
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