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Rs 50,000-cr Orissa plans on track despite slump: Vedanta

January 05, 2009 10:30 IST

The Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta Resources announced on Sunday that it would continue with its Rs 50,000 crore (Rs 500-billion) investment plans for Orissa despite the global meltdown.

The plan includes raising the capacity of its aluminium smelter to 2 million tonne, Lanjigarh alumina refinery capacity to 5 million tonne per annum and generation of 4,000 MW power in the state.

This was announced by Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal here after his meeting with the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. "We reassured the chief minister that our Rs 50,000-crore (Rs 500-billion) investment plan in Orissa will continue despite the global meltdown", he said.

Agarwal, who held discussion about his various ventures in Orissa with Patnaik for about two hours, told the media that he requested the chief minister to inaugurate the Jharsuguda smelter of the company from where production of aluminium has already started.

Agarwal said the company has agreed to help the state government in setting up an aluminium park at Jharsuguda.

About 700 small and medium enterprises can come up in the proposed aluminium park. Vedanta will not only supply the metal required for these units, but also supply them power from its 4,000 MW power plant in the locality.

Agarwal expressed his optimism over mining of bauxite from Niyamgiri hills, which has been shrouded by controversies.

Asked about the time frame for starting the mining of bauxite, he said, it is in progress and will start within a month or two.

"We have got the full clearance of the Supreme Court for bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hills and have deputed staff in large number for initiating the work", Agarwal added.

About the Rs 15,000-crore (Rs 150-billion) world class university project being put up by the Anil Agarwal Foundation in the Puri-Konark marine drive, he said that nearly half of the required 6,000 acres has been acquired.

In the first phase, the work of a modern 1,000-bedded super speciality hospital will start soon. The world-renowned architects, Perkins+Will of the US has designed the specialty hospital.

BS Reporter in Bhubaneswar
Source: source