Nalco to invest Rs40,000 crore in metals and energy sectors by 2020

National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco), a 'navratna' public sector undertaking, plans to invest about Rs.40,000 crore over the next decade, exploring opportunities in copper, gold, uranium and tiranium, and aiming to emerge as a global major in metals and energy.

''As per its Vision 2020, Nalco envisages to achieve a turnover of Rs25,000 crore by year 2020,'' B.L. Bagra, chairman and managing director, Nalco, told reporters in Bhubaneshwar, at the company's annual general meeting. ''The company's business plan envisages an investment of about Rs40,000 crore.''

Nalco's net profit soared by 31 per cent in fiscal 2010-11 to Rs1,069 crore from Rs814 crore in the previous year. Sales revenue was higher by 18 per cent at Rs5,959 crore. Dividend payout was also higher by 60 per cent at Rs257.72 crore.

''The profit for the year was higher because of higher sales realisation as compared to the previous year, in addition to some contributions by way of higher production and sale of metal,'' said Bagra. ''The results would have been still better, but for the adverse impact of exchange rate of rupee on sales, which made a dent of Rs.159 crore during the year. The operating cost was higher by Rs.399 crore, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year, due to increase in prices of coal, fuel oil and provisioning for wage revision.''

According to Bagra, the company is actively pursuing plans to set up a smelter and power project in Indonesia at suitable location, primarily because of availability of good quality coal at economic prices. Two coal mining firms have been identified for possible long-term arrangement for sourcing coal for the proposed project, he added.

Nalco has also placed orders to set up a 50.4 MW wind power plant in Andhra Pradesh at an investment of Rs.274 crore.

However, the company has been unable to find a suitable location for its second aluminium and power complex in Orissa, and may shift the proposed investment of Rs16,000 crore to some other location.

''The company was pursuing a plan to set up another smelter and power project in Orissa,'' said Bagra. ''But considering the uncertainty on the location in the Orissa project, the company may have to explore for an alternate location elsewhere in India.''