Vedanta blames NGOs for Sterlite Copper plant closure
The Tamil Nadu government had in late May ordered permanent closure of the copper smelter after 13 people protesting to demand its shutdown were killed
July 17, 2018 / 10:41 AM IST
A private security guard stands in front of the main gate of Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Tuticorin
Sterlite Copper’s parent company Vedanta Resources has blamed non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for the closure of its copper plant in Thoothukudi (erstwhile Tuticorin), Tamil Nadu, according to a report by BloombergQuint.
The company is preparing for a battle to restart the operation at the Vedanta-owned Sterlite Copper plant, which was shut down.
According to the report, plant chief R Ramnath has said NGOs urged local protests to stop Vedanta from doubling capacity at the 400,000 metric tons-a-year smelter.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) will be reviewing Vedanta’s plea to restart the plant on Wednesday, while the state’s pollution control board will hear a petition to renew the licence to operate the plant next month.
“It’s a big blow to our domestic manufacturing,” Ramnath told BloombergQuint. “Supplies from our plant have dried up at a time when copper demand in India is set to rise because of initiatives like rural electrification, railways electrification and expansion of renewables,” he added.
The Tamil Nadu government in late May had ordered permanent closure of a copper smelter of the firm after 13 people protesting to demand its shutdown on environmental concerns were killed.
The plant's closure has increased domestic supply crunch and may turn India
into a net importer of primary copper.