Orchid plant to restart operations as Pollution Board revokes order

Swetha Kannan Chennai | Updated on August 16, 2011 Published on August 16, 2011

After being out of action for more than a month, Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals' manufacturing facility in Alathur (near Chennai) gets a breather, as the closure order of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has been revoked.

“We are sending the revoke order today,” an official of the Board told Business Line.

On July 11, the pollution control board had directed the company to close its Alathur facility over a non-compliance issue relating to disposal of solid waste. TNPCB had directed Orchid to mix powder ash to the solid waste that was generated at the facility so that the odour emitted is reduced.

It also wanted the company to double-seal the waste in polythene.

“The company has started stabilising sledge by adding lime, earth and fly ash to reduce odour. This will be followed by double packing. Orchid has over 14,000 tonnes of sledge — the company will be given four months time to stabilise this.

The facility also had a sledge pond which was leaking — the leakage has been arrested, the pond will subsequently be demolished, said the official.

The Alathur plant manufactures 800 tonnes of Cephalosporin API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) annually.

The antibiotic fetches a third of the company's Rs 1,600-crore revenues.

The company has maintained that the month-long closure would have no impact on the revenues, as it had adequate inventory to cover immediate demand.

When contacted, an Orchid Chemicals spokesperson told Business Line that the plant would commence operations soon.

On the NSE today, the Orchid Chemicals share rose by Rs 3.05 (or 1.54 per cent) to touch Rs 201.65.

Published on August 16, 2011
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