Industry Updates on 08.09.2012


INDUSTRY UPDATES
08 August, 2012
STEEL, METALS AND MINING
India aluminum export to rise 5pct – Vedanta

World Aluminium Market reported that India's aluminum exports could rise 5% in the current fiscal year to 325,000 tonnes despite a slowdown in global demand as falling prices have led rival global producers to cut production.

Declining aluminum prices have forced major players such as Alcoa and Norsk Hydro to cut output and have prompted China, the world's largest consumer of the metal and Japan to ramp up purchases.

Mr Mukesh Kumar president of Vedanta Aluminum Limited said that "Due to the sudden closure of some of the smelters in the USA, the export demand has slightly improved."

Vedanta Aluminum, a part of billionaire Mr Anil Agarwal controlled Vedanta Group produces about 40% of the South Asian nation's total output. India exported 310,000 tonnes of aluminum in 2011 to 2012.

Aluminum prices have fallen this year alongside other metals as the global economy has cooled. The benchmark 3 month LME aluminum contract on Friday, at USD 1,846.25 per tonne was down 22% from its year high in March.

Traders said that Indian aluminum exports to South Korea, Japan and China are currently priced at a premium of USD 223 per tonne to USD 230 per tonne above the LME benchmark, lower than the USD 240 to USD 260 premium from other countries.

Low costs and availability of better grades of inputs such as bauxite give Indian smelters an edge over other suppliers but bureaucratic and environmental delays have limited the availability of coal, a major fuel for aluminum production.

India produces around 1.6 million tonnes of aluminum and consumes about 1.3 million tonnes annually. Its domestic demand is poised to grow by 7 to 8 percent a year, led by its power transmission, construction and automobile sectors.
(Steel Guru)
Vedanta calls for India to restrict bauxite exports

Vedanta Aluminium has called on the government to restrict bauxite exports and allow more mines to ensure that India's domestic industry including Vedanta's own alumina refinery has sufficient supplies.

The company's refinery in Odisha has been operating at 70% of its capacity of one million tonnes of alumina production per year, because it cannot obtain its requirement of 10,000 tonnes of bauxite a day.

India, the world's fifth biggest bauxite producer has been limiting the issuance of bauxite leases mainly due to local protests over land acquisition. Eastern Odisha state has the largest reserve of the resource.

Vedanta Aluminium, part of London listed Vedanta Resources said that at this crucial junction, allowing bauxite exports at the cost of domestic industry by some of the state governments, when the domestic aluminium industry is suffering for want of bauxite, cannot be justified in the national interest.

The federal government should also make efforts to open new bauxite mines in eastern Odisha state and southern Andhra Pradesh which account for 2.5 billion tonnes of reserves.
(Steel Guru)
Close
COAL
Have begun production from coal blocks : Reliace power ti inter Ministerial Group.
On day two of captive coal mines review by an inter-ministerial group (IMG), Reliance Power today said it has begun production ahead of schedule from its blocks Moher and Moher-Amlohri extension in Madhya Pradesh.


The two blocks are meant to be used as fuel source for the 4,000 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant and are under the scanner of the IMG reviewing the status of coal block allocation.

"We have informed the IMG that coal production at Moher and Moher-Amlori Extension coal block has already commenced. We have also told them that the coal production has started ahead of schedule," R-Power CEO J P Chalasani said.

He was speaking to reporters here after presenting Reliance Power's views to the IMG as the Anil Ambani Group firm was issued a show-cause notice in May this year for delay in developing the two blocks.

Bhushan Steel, Tata Sponge Iron and GVK Power are some of the other firms that presented their side of the story on the delays to the IMG today.

Yesterday, the panel had heard from 10 firms, including Monnet Ispat, Electrosteel, Usha Martin, Adhunik Alloys and Power, Jayaswal Neco and Corporate Ispat, on the reasons for the delay in developing their mines.

"We have to say it is the fastest coal production for any greenfield project in this country till date," Chalasani said about the production that began on Monday from the two coal blocks. They were allocated to Sasan UMPP which the company had got through competitive bidding in August 2007.

National auditor CAG's report last month said the government decision to allow the use of surplus coal from blocks allotted to Sasan UMPP for other projects of Reliance Power has resulted in an undue benefit of Rs 29,033 crore to the company.

Chalasani said the first unit of Sasan UMPP will be commissioned ahead of schedule.

"As far as end-use plant is concerned, we have informed that Sasan is our end-use plant which is going ahead of schedule. First 660 MW unit, which is to be commissioned in December, is ahead of the schedule," He said. Moher block has a geological reserves of 402 million tonnes (MT) of coal, while Moher-Amlohri Extension has 198 MT of coal.

Tata Sponge Iron Chief Operating Officer Ujjwal Chatterjee said, "The major reason for delay was land acquisition, forest diversion and clearances. There was a moratorium imposed for environment clearances and there was a court case for land acquisition." Tata Sponge Iron was allocated Radhikapur East coal block in Odisha on February 7, 2006. The block has an extractable reserve of 105.24 MT.
(Economic Times)

NTPC pays Rs 699 crore extra for procurement of coal
Country's largest power producer NTPC had to pay an excess amount of Rs 699 crore during 2008-11 due to its failure to ensure that imported coal is supplied with least transportation cost by STC and MMTC. NTPC entered into agreements with STC and MMTC in 2008 and 2009 respectively, for procurement of over 20 million tonnes of coal on 'for destination basis' at the power stations through various ports in the country.

The agreements provided that STC and MMTC shall import the coal through various discharge ports in India in such a way that the landed cost of coal at power stations is "optimum" considering the technical viability of coal movement by Railways from ports to power stations.

The agreement further provided that in case of port constraints, the import of coal for a particular power station may be routed through alternate suitable ports, with prior permission from NTPC. "Due to non-enforcement of contractual terms regarding supplies of imported coal at the optimum landed cost, the company had to incur an avoidable expenditure of Rs 699 crore during 2008-11 on supplies of coal through routes other than optimum routes," CAG said.

The audit observed that during the period 2008 to March 2011, 11.95 million metric tonnes of imported coal (56 per cent of total quantity imported) was supplied by STC or MMTC to various power stations of the company from ports other than those which involved least total transportation cost.

The report further said: "Out of total quantity of 11.95 million tonnes supplied through non-optimum ports, 4.85 million tonnes were supplied through Mundra port belonging to Adani Enterprises." NTPC in its reply had said that the company was importing coal based on delivery at power station and the most optimum route is decided by the supplier based on the location of the station. The report said NTPC management had informed the CAG that the company had no role to play in deciding the port.
(Economic Times)

IRON ORE
Indian iron or mining mess - Goa CM slams MoEF

A day after officials of Union Ministry of Environment and Forests began inspecting iron ore mines in the state, Goa Chief Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar said the exercise was aimed at "making money". "If they are inspecting the mines, then they should also take action. Only inspecting and keeping quiet (thereafter) means asking for kickbacks.”

He said that "MoEF is a corrupt ministry. They have given environmental clearances (to mines) by accepting bribes. Why were they quiet all these years?" alleging that the ministry turned a blind eye to rampant illegal mining during the tenure of Digambar Kamat-led government in Goa.

MoEF should disclose full findings of the inspection on its website, Mr Parrikar said, and blamed the Union ministry for the current mess in the Goa mining sector. The MoEF inspection, which started reportedly seeks to ascertain whether the rejected low quality ore lying at mines is being exported in spite of a ban.

MoEF and central agencies such as Indian Bureau of Mines should regulate the mining in Goa more stringently, the Chief Minister said, adding that the state regulated only the storage and transportation. Reiterating allegation of bribe taking for giving clearances at MoEF level, Parrikar said in the places like Sanguem, where 80% population was tribal, the Environment Impact Assessment by the central agencies declared that there were no tribals.

Mr Parrikar also said that his government was very strict about ore dumps. Of the total 720 million tonne of iron ore (mostly low-quality, export reject) in the dumps, only 150 million tonne can be exported without damaging the environment.
(Steel Guru)
CEMENT
AGRICULTURE
Basmati exporters hope to improve upon 2011 
BASMATI exporters expect to continue last year's splendid performance in the current season.Having shipped 3.2 million tonnes (mt) in 2011, analysts have lately projected India to export 4 mt this year. 
Prices of the aromatic rice in international markets are high and increased sowing in this kharif season will ensure availability for exports. As a strategy to harvest better quality grain for export, some companies have entered into buyback arrangements with farmers. 
A senior official of a company said that Indian exporters were eyeing a bigger slice of the pie in the wake of the pick up in demand for Basmati in the global market this year.
Another official expressed confidence that the irregular monsoon would not have much impact on the cultivation of the long-grain rice, given that its price was currently hovering higher at $1,000-1,500 a tonne for different varieties, from last year's $800-900 a tonne. 
While apprising that Iran was emerging as a big importer and that India had begun scouting new markets in the African continent, he projected exports to jump 20 per cent this year. Another exporter pointed out that awareness about Basmati has grown tremendously in the last few years, and added that the acceptance of Pusa 1121 as Basmati had widened the scope for exporters, with demand emerging even from African countries.
(Exim India)
FERTILISERS
ENERGY 
SHIPPING, TRADE AND TRANSPORT


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