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Nalco Eyeing Oman, and Iran for Smelter on Coal Shortage in India

Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and UAE are other potential sites for the 500000 t smelter and a 1000 MW captive power plant, Nalco Chairman Ansuman Das said in an interview. Nalco shares have surged 47 % in 2014, exceeding the 21 % rise in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex. India produced 565,6 Mt of coal in the 12 months through March 2014, compared with demand of 739,4 Mt. Supplies to captive power plants dropped 31 % to 37,8 Mt, according to the Indian Power Ministry. Making aluminium with imported coal isn’t viable as it costs USD 1900 – 1950 a tonne, about USD 250 more than with local coal, Barclays Plc estimates. Electricity accounts for almost 40 % of smelting costs. Building a plant in Iran depends in part on nuclear negotiations between it and six world powers. The talks could lead to an easing of sanctions on the nation, which the US Energy Information Administration estimates holds the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves. Iran may boost its natural gas-fired electricity and nuclear power if the talks succeed, making the nation a ‘great destination’ for aluminium smelting, said Kenneth Hoffman, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst in New Jersey.

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