Vedanta says it loses 50 million rupees daily due to smelter shutdown

Reuters
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 01, 2019, 10:08 AM(IST)

File photo: A private security guard stands in front of the main gate of Sterlite Industries Ltd's copper plant in Tuticorin, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, India, March 24, 2013. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal had said in July the company could face a loss of $100 million if the plant remained shut for a year.

Vedanta Ltd told an Indian court it has been incurring losses of 50 million rupees ($705,656) daily ever since the permanent closure of its copper smelter in May after violent protests against the plant led to the death of 13 people in police firing.

The government of Tamil Nadu state ordered the smelter shut permanently on May 28 after bloody protests at the plant in the city of Thoothukudi culminated in police opening fire on demonstrators and shooting people in the head and the chest.

Residents and environmental activists had demanded the shutdown of the copper smelter, India's second-biggest with an annual production of more than 400,000 tonnes, citing air and water pollution. The oil-to-metals conglomerate had denied the accusations of pollution.

"The petitioner's unit has been and is continuing to suffer a daily loss of about Rs 5 crores (50 million rupees)," Vedanta said to the Madras High Court in a petition reviewed by Reuters.

That translates to a loss of about 13.8 billion rupees ($194.49 million) since the plant was sealed shut nine months ago.

Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal had said in July the company could face a loss of $100 million if the plant remained shut for a year.

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