The Energy Department has sought the views of Gridco, the power trading utility of the State, on the issue of granting permission to the Vedanta Aluminium and Power to use power from Sterlite Energy.
This is in response to Vedanta Group’s request to the State Government for using 600 MW power from Sterlite Energy (a subsidiary of Vedanta Group) to run its smelter plant at Jharsuguda.
Vedanta Aluminium Limited has set up a 1.1 million tonne per annum (mtpa) new aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda as Special Economic Zone (SEZ), is lying idle presently for want of power.
“We are providing 600 MW to Gridco for the last three years. Since Odisha is now power surplus State, we may be allowed to use this power for running the new smelter plant to full capacity,” said Vedanta Aluminium and Power business head SK Roongta in a recent letter to Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra.
The commissioning of the new smelter plant will generate substantial employment opportunity and additional revenue for the State Government, he said.
Sterlite Energy, an independent power producer (IPP), runs 2,400 MW (4x600 MW) thermal power station at Jharsuguda. One unit of the power station is dedicated to the State.
Stating that the new smelter has been put up as per the 2006 recommendation of the State Government pursuant to central SEZ Act, 2005,
the company had recently sought extension of SEZ benefits for its aluminium smelter project at Jharsuguda.
The company has requested exemptions which were taken into account at the time of setting up of SEZ plant such as exemption from state taxes including entry tax, VAT, electricity duty be made applicable from the date of recommendation for the SEZ.
The company has also requested the State Government to declare the plant in the SEZ as a deemed distribution licensee as per the provisions of the Electricity Act 2003 and referred the matter to the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC).
Chairman of the Vedanta Group Anil Agarwal met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on November 26 last year to discuss the issue along with the long term bauxite linkage to the company.