Vedanta decides to sell sealed Sterlite Copper plant in Tamil Nadu

Repeated efforts by Vedanta to get the lock and seal removed and resume operations did not yield any desired results with successive Governments in Tamil Nadu remaining firm in their decision not to permit the plant to function.

N ChithraUpdated: Monday, June 20, 2022, 11:52 PM IST
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Vedanta decides to sell sealed Sterlite Copper plant in Tamil Nadu | PTI file Photo

Chennai: More than four years after the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi in south Tamil Nadu was locked and sealed amid protests over charges of pollution, the Vedanta-owned facility has been put up for sale. The plant was sealed after police fired on agitators in May 2018 killing 13 persons.

Repeated efforts by Vedanta to get the lock and seal removed and resume operations did not yield any desired results with successive Governments in Tamil Nadu remaining firm in their decision not to permit the plant to function.

During the second wave of the COVID-19, the company had moved to the Supreme Court and obtained permission to produce medical oxygen alone at its smelter plant premises.

Vedanta in conjunction with Axis Capital invited Expression of Interest for the sale of its copper plant. The properties for sale include the smelter complex (primary and secondary), sulphuric acid plant, copper refinery, continuous copper rod plant, phosphoric acid plant, effluent treatment plant, captive power plant, RO Units, oxygen generation unit and residential complex with amenities.

An advertisement issued by Vedanta said, the Sterlite plant produced approximately 40 per cent of India’s demand for copper and contributed around Rs 2,500 crore to the exchequer. It had provided direct employment to 5,000 persons and another 25,000 jobs indirectly through the value chain.

A Vedanta spokesperson said, “The Tuticorin (Thoothukudi) plant is a national asset and has played an integral role towards India’s self-sufficiency in copper. In the best interest of the country and the people of Tamil Nadu, we are exploring options to make sure the plant and the assets are best utilised to meet the growing copper demand of the nation.”

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