The Government of Gujarat, this week, permitted Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) to form a 26:74 joint venture with Nalco for a 1 mtpa refinery.

The State will provide 1,700 acres for the Rs 4,600-crore phase I project in coastal Kutch, 22 km west of Mundhra port.

Nalco, which has already established a project office in Ahmedabad, will now initiate process to get the detailed project report ready by December, the CMD of Nalco, Mr B L Bagra, told Business Line here on Thursday.

Mr Bagra said that the Nalco Board would soon take up the issue of formalisation of the two joint ventures – one with GMDC for the refinery and another with GACL for producing soda ash.

Under an agreement, to be signed later this month, GMDC will also commit to supply 3 million tonnes of bauxite a year from its mines in Kutch districts.

It would also provide limestone (7 lakh tonnes a year) and lignite (50,000 tonnes a year).

The supply arrangement provides a benchmark quality and price (which will refer to LME) for the bauxite.

“The arrangement will provide for discounts or premiums if the supplies are below or above the benchmark price. The logistic cost of raw material supplies from the mine heads to the project site extending beyond 100 km would be GMDC's responsibility,” Nalco CMD said.

The benchmark bauxite grade is understood to be usable for viable production of alumina.

In a supply separate arrangement, another State-owned Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd (GACL) will supply caustic soda, a key ingredient for producing soda ash, used in bauxite refining.

A joint venture agreement for manufacturing soda ash is slated to be signed next month. GACL has also to commit to lift entire chlorine, produced by the proposed soda ash project.

jayanta_mallick@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on June 8, 2012)
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