Investments of up to Rs 40,000 crore expected in next 2 years; however, implementation challenges need to be addressed, caution many

Early this month, billionaire Anil Agarwal-promoted Vedanta Group was forced to shut its one million tonnes per annum alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Odisha’s Kalahandi district due to unavailability of bauxite, 15 years after state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation signed over its rights to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills to the group firm.

The group has invested Rs 30,000 crore in six years to set up the aluminium business under Vedanta Aluminium, believing it would be able to get approvals for captive bauxite mines by the time the facilities get commissioned. Eventually, it commissioned a 1 mtpa refiner, a 0.5 mtpa smelter and a 1,215 Mw captive power plant, but approval for bauxite mining did not come.