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India may build aluminium plant in SA

A National
Aluminium Company
smelter in India
New Delhi, India — MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 May 2008 – India’s second-biggest producer of aluminium – National Aluminium Company (Nalco) – is exploring the possibility of building a US$3 billion (R23 billion) aluminium plant in South Africa.

Confirming this in an interview here with Bloomberg News, Nalco chairman C.R. Pradhan said: “We are looking for a partner and talking to several companies, including the Tata Group. We hope to finalise a partner soon,” he added.

Bloomberg reports that Nalco wants to build aluminum smelters in Indonesia, Iran and South Africa to tap low-cost electricity, abundant gas and cheap labour. Electricity accounts for a third of the cost of making aluminum, a metal used in car parts, aircraft and beverage cans.

“We plan to start as soon as we conclude talks with the government on ensuring power supply to the plant,” Pradhan said. “We will hold a majority share of 51% in the venture.”

The Tata Group owns the world’s sixth-largest steelmaker. Its steelmaking unit started operating a new ferrochrome plant in Richards Bay in South Africa last month.

“Nalco wants to build its aluminum smelter in the same area,” Pradhan revealed.