BHUBANESWAR, SEPT 16, 2021
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday inaugurated the expansion of the existing Alumina refinery of Utkal Alumina located at Kashipur in Rayagada district.
Situated at the tribal hinterland of Odisha, the expansion unit by the Aditya Birla group is built with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore which will improve the refinery’s annual capacity by 0.5 MT to 2 MT alumina productions per annum.
For this new unit, more than 500 people are being employed through direct and contractual roles. Aditya Birla group employs more than 12,000 people in Odisha, which accounts for more than 10 percent of its global workforce.
“I am particularly happy that investors are expanding their existing projects in Odisha in spite of the impact of COVID pandemic. This shows that our economy is bouncing back from the impacts of the pandemic and we are back on the path of sustained growth and development,” said Patnaik, while inaugurating the expansion project of Utkal Alumina Refinery.
Speaking on the positive role played by the Aditya Birla group in the development of Odisha, the Chief Minister said, “The Aditya Birla group has been a key player in the industrial growth story of Odisha with their presence spanning across sectors like metals, mining, cement, financial services, fashion and retail. Today’s inauguration is a testament to the long-standing relationship between the Aditya Birla group and Odisha.”
Patnaik expressed confidence that this expansion would help in further growth of the industrial economy of Odisha, especially in the tribal regions of Odisha.
He wanted the Aditya Birla group to guide their ancillary units and associates to visit the state and explore more opportunities to invest in the state.
This will certainly help build an industrial ecosystem that will benefit all the stakeholders through improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness, he added.
The Utkal Alumina was set up in Rayagada district in 1993 with an investment of Rs 8,600 crore. Now, the group has spent Rs 1,500 crore for this expansion.
Joining the programme through virtual mode, Aditya Birla Group Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla said that Odisha has emerged as the top-most investment destination for the Aditya Birla Group.
Birla praised the vision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in all-round development of Odisha and appreciated the role of state government in the success of Indian Hockey at Olympics. He also expressed his happiness on his role as a proud partner in the development story of the state.
Stating that the Aditya Birla Group is committed to long-term investment in Odisha, he said, “Over the years, we have invested well over Rs.30,000 crore in the state. Eight of our group businesses have a significant presence in the state and this has given employment to about 35,000 people.”
“Going forward, we plan to deepen our presence in Odisha. The Aditya Birla Group will invest about Rs. 7,200 crore across various businesses. For Hindalco, we have earmarked an investment of Rs 3,000 crore to set up flat-rolled projects at Hirakud and Aditya in Odisha,” said Birla. “We are committed to partner with the Odisha government and the people in our quest for collective prosperity,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Hindalco Industries Ltd. Managing Director Satish Pai, said, “The Utkal expansion and Hindalco’s downstream capacity addition in Aditya and Hirakud will make Odisha home to one of the largest, most modern Flat Rolled Aluminium Product plants in the world with world-class technologies from our American subsidiary Novelis. The development will accelerate the pace of employment generation in technology, transportation, packaging and logistics and boost business for ancillary industries.”
“Globally, India is the third largest producer of aluminium. With Hindalco’s additional capacities, Odisha will produce two-thirds of that metal and we, at Hindalco and Aditya Birla Group, feel proud to be part of that story,” he added.
Among others, Industries Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra, ST, SC Development Minister Jagannath Saraka and Hindalco Managing Director Satish Pai also spoke on the occasion.
The programme was moderated by Secretary to CM (5-T) VK Pandian.
Principal Secretary of Industries Department Hemant Sharma gave the welcome address.
Rajya Sabha Member N Bhaskar Rao, Laxmipur MLA Pravu Jani, Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra and Development Commissioner PK Jena also attended the programme.