Vedanta invites bids for its Tuticorin copper smelting plant


After facing several legal and political hurdles in reopening the Sterlite Copper smelting plant at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, Anil Agarwal-backed Vedanta group is selling the plant. The company has invited expression of interest from the potential buyers.

The plant was closed in May 2018 following the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s order over pollution concerns. The TNPCB ordered the closure of the plant permanently after 13 anti-Sterlite protestors were shot in police firing.

The plant closure was challenged by the company in Madras High Court. However, the court refused to allow the reopening of the plant. The case is now pending in Supreme Court. Having invested over ₹3,000 crore in the plant, the company has lost ₹4,000 crore since its shutdown. It employed 4,397 people directly and benefited over 17,000 people, representing various stakeholders. 

Vedanta is likely to set up the plant in another state and had earlier invited expression of interest from state governments.

In a recent interview, Agarwal had said that shifting the plant to another state was the last option.

 “While coastal States such as Andhra Pradesh are interested in the project we don’t want to do anything in haste. We can go to another state but we have been in Thoothukudi for over 20 years. We like the people there and we have the trust of the local people.,” Agarwal had told Business Line in April.

“The Tuticorin plant is a national asset catering to 40 per cent of our copper l demand and has played an integral role towards India’s self-sufficiency. In the country’s best interest and the people of Tamil Nadu, we are exploring options to make sure that the plant and the assets are best utilised to meet growing demand of the nation”

Published on

June 20, 2022


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