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    HomeBusinessVedanta Ltd invites EoI to sell Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi

    Vedanta Ltd invites EoI to sell Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi

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    Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Ltd has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) from interested parties to sell its Sterlite Copper unit in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi.

    The last day to submit the expression of interest is July 4. Vedanta has invited the bids in conjunction with Axis Capital. It was in May 2018 that 13 people were killed and around 102 left injured in a police firing at Thoothukudi, during a protest against the expansion of the plant. Following this, the smelter and refining complex was shut down. Sterlite Copper had claimed that the production halt at its Thoothukudi unit had led to a loss of over $1.2 billion to the country.

    Around 120,000 people were affected due to the closure and nearly 400 MSMEs were affected as they were dependent upon products like copper, sulphuric acid, and fluorosilicic acid. According to an estimate, the area was suffering a loss of around Rs 700 crore per annum due to the shutdown. The plant used to produce approximately 40 per cent of India’s demand for copper and contributed around Rs 2,500 crore to the exchequer, 12 per cent of Thoothukudi port’s revenue, and 95 per cent market share of sulphuric acid in Tamil Nadu.

    Also Read: Vedanta to raise up to Rs 4,089 cr via non-convertible debentures

    The copper smelter, with a capacity of 400,000 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA), was contributing a larger share of the country’s demand for refined copper and included a refinery and copper rod plant, a sulphuric acid plant of more than 12,00,000 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and a phosphoric acid plant of 220,000 MTPA. It also had a 160 mega watt (MW) coal-based power plant to power the copper smelter.

    The genesis of the problem in 2018 was when the company went into expansion mode. Sterlite wanted to double the capacity from 400,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes. After the shutdown, the Tamil Nadu government informed the Madras High Court in 2019 that there were 84 incidents of gas leaks from the plant in 2013 alone.

    Worries over global recession impacting metals and crude demand have led to softening of prices of commodities such as aluminium and oil.

    On Monday, the Vedanta stock was down 10.5 per cent to Rs 236, as 11.17 am India time.

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