Jul 27, (Bloomberg)--National Aluminium Co., India’s third-largest producer, increased its alumina capacity 33 percent to boost exports and tap global demand for the raw material used to make the lightweight metal.
Capacity at the Damanjodi refinery in the eastern state of Orissa was expanded to 2.1 million metric tons from 1.58 million tons, Production Director A.K. Sharma said today in a telephone interview. The additional output will start on Aug. 1 and stabilize in a month, he said.
Rising incomes and public works in China and India, the fastest growing major economies, are driving consumption of aluminum, used in everything from aircraft to beverage cans. Japan, Asia’s largest aluminum importer, is placing more orders as the nation rebuilds from its worst earthquake and tsunami. Alumina prices have risen 20 percent from start of this year until May 27, according to Metal Bulletin.
National Aluminium, based in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar, exported 702,554 metric tons of alumina in the year ended March 31. Shipments fell in the last two years as the company used more alumina to feed a 40 percent increase in smelter capacity. Bauxite is turned into alumina that in turn is refined into aluminum.
National Aluminium shares fell 1 percent to 78.15 rupees at the close of trading in Mumbai. The stock has declined 20 percent this year, compared with a 10 percent drop in the benchmark Sensitive Index.