Vedanta to shut Indian plant with 1000 jobs lost

GMT 15:16 2015 Monday ,14 September

Arab Today, arab today Vedanta to shut Indian plant with 1000 jobs lost

Vedanta is closing an aluminium rolling plant
New Delhi - AFP

British resources giant Vedanta said Monday it was closing an aluminium plant in India with the loss of 1,000 jobs due to a slump in metal prices and high energy costs.

BALCO, owned by billionaire industrialist Anil Agarwal's Vedanta Group, will close the aluminium rolling mill in the central state of Chhattisgarh by December.

"The closure of the rolling mill is in the backdrop of a crash in global aluminium prices and the prohibitive cost of coal to run our power plants," BALCO said in a release.

Its CEO Ramesh Nair said the closure would lead to the "loss of around 1,000 direct and indirect jobs".

Companies like BALCO are struggling with cheap imports from China, which controls large swathes of the global aluminium industry.

Global aluminium prices have fallen sharply from more than $2,200 per tonne at the beginning of 2015 to $1,600, making exports unviable, according to the London Metal Exchange.

BALCO said rising power costs had made production unviable for all primary aluminium manufacturers across India.

Vedanta has said it has also started notifying workers about the "unviability" of its refinery in Lanjigarh in the eastern state of Orissa, partly because of problems sourcing its main raw material bauxite.

Agarwal's Vedanta has also had to face persistent protests by local communities in India over land rights and environmental concerns.

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