According to J. Krishna Kishore, director general of the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB), HZL had requested 1,200 acres of land to set up the foundry. “The company said it wanted the land in the port towns, so the council showed Vedanta officials several large plots of land in Kakinada and Krishnapatnam,” he said.
When asked when he expected to know which city Vedanta would set up the foundry, Krishna Kishore said the potential of the two cities would be under consideration by the board of HZ and a decision is expected. ” soon “.
Vedanta Ltd, owned by Anil Agarwal, has a 64.92% stake in HZL, while the central government has a 29.59% stake, and the balance is held by mutual funds, financial institutions and of individual shareholders as of December 31, 2017, according to the company’s file. with stock exchanges on its shareholding.
Krishna Kishore said that HZL should invest Rs. 3000 crore in the first phase of the foundry, with another Rs. 3000 crore in the proposed second phase.
“Besides the zinc smelter, HZL also plans to set up a fertilizer plant to use sulfuric acid generated by the zinc smelting process. The fertilizer plant could be outsourced to a third party by HZL, but that’s something HZL will take care of when the foundry is commissioned, ”he said.
Vedanta’s current plan to install a zinc smelter is the non-ferrous conglomerate’s second attempt to make such a manufacturing unit successful in Andhra Pradesh. Its first attempt ended with the closure of the existing zinc smelter in Visakhapatnam in 2012.
The Visakhapatnam zinc smelter began commercial operations in 1977 and produced both zinc and lead, as well as silver as a by-product. While HZL closed its lead plant in Visakhapatnam in the mid-1990s, long before Vedanta acquired a majority stake in the company from the government, following complaints from residents of villages near the smelter that the tailings of lead seeped into their groundwater sources, the company closed its zinc smelter in 2012, with HZL and Vedanta saying it had become unviable to operate the plant by transporting zinc concentrate from its mines in Rajasthan and elsewhere. More than 300 managers and workers were made redundant when the Vizag foundry closed.
Last year, HZL hired a consultant to find a buyer for the 342 acres of land the smelter sits on, but the move was moved to a cold store after unions at Vizag raised concerns about HZL plans to recognize windfall profits on the sale of the land, which is in the Gajuwaka neighborhood. The 342 acre HZL land will cost almost Rs. 5,000 crore.
Vedanta is now considering converting the land into a ‘city center project’, as announced by the company at the partnership summit last month, and confirmed to ToI by HZL spokesman Pavan Kaushik earlier this month. .
Krishna Kishore said HZL’s new smelter in Andhra Pradesh would use imported zinc concentrate, forcing the Vedanta Group to locate the plant in a port city.