Water shortage may force Grasim Industries to suspend operations at its Nagda plant in Madhya Pradesh from Wednesday.

The Aditya Birla Group company has already cut production of viscose staple fibre (VSF) and halved output of Chlor-Alkali from the rated capacity of 258,000 tonnes a year.

In a press release, the company said it had to curtail production due to the delay in the onset of monsoon and the consequential water shortage. “The plant is likely to be closed on July 3,” it added.

“We could manage production till now with the additional arrangements for temporary water storage this year,” said the release. However, with delay in monsoon despite a forecast of normal monsoon by mid-June, the company has been forced to suspend staple fibre production at the Nagda plant.

The plant will resume normal production as soon as there are adequate rains in the catchment areas, it said. The company faced a similar problem last year also.

VSF is a man-made, biodegradable fibre with characteristics similar to cotton. As a versatile and easily blendable fibre, VSF is used in apparels, home textiles, dress material, knitted wear and non-woven applications.

The company produces staple fibre also at plants at Kharach in Gujarat and Harihar in Karnataka. The three factories have an aggregate capacity of 333,975 tpa. The Aditya Birla Group commands a 22 per cent share of the global VSF market.

The company’s plant at Nagda produces a wide range of staple fibre to suit customer requirements in terms of length, denier and colour. It also makes second and third generation fibres such as modal, excel and solvent spun fibres. The Nagda plant is also the largest producer of spun-dyed specialty fibre in the world.

Grasim Industries shares were down 0.46 per cent at Rs 2,697 on Tuesday.