Coal India Stops Supply: Aluminium Industries Warn Of Shutdown

New Delhi: The aluminium industries, which have run into critical level of coal stock,  have demanded roll-back of the Coal India’s decision on Friday to temporarily stop fuel supply to non-power sectors in the country and immediate resumption of supply to prevent shutdown.

The Aluminium Association of India (AAI) in a release said the aluminium plants continue to grapple with critically low levels of coal stock, with no recourse or alternative means to meet their power needs and keep the plants operational. If coal supply is not restored immediately, it would lead to an irrevocable collateral damage of the plants, it added.

The association said the plants cannot sustain on the import of coal which will take 90-120 days from purchase to consumption. Therefore, sudden decision by Coal India to stop the domestic coal supply to the aluminium industry has resulted in complete chaos.

“Aluminium production is a 24×7 and 365-day continuous process with no provision to switch off and switch on. It is highly power intensive industry, just to illustrate 1 Ton of Aluminium requires 14,500 units of continuous power which is 15 times of steel and 145 times of cement industries,” the association said.

In order to meet its energy demand, the industry has set up its in-house captive power plants of 9.4 GW capacity, which is 34% of thermal power capacity of the country.

The association pointed out that while the power demand of the aluminium industry is 6% of the country’s total demand, it is 123% of the total energy traded at the Indian Energy Exchange. Therefore, it is not feasible for the aluminium plants to get the supply from the power grid and has to depend solely on captive power plants.

Under the circumstances, the association said any power outage in aluminium plant will lead to catastrophic impact and complete shutdown which will take minimum 12 months for recovery. Besides, it would result in job loss of more than 8 lakh people, banks’ debt exposure of over Rs 1 lakh crore and forex loss of R. 90,000 crore.

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