Thoothukudi plant not operating since March 27: Vedanta

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Thoothukudi/Chennai, May 24 (IANS) London-listed Vedanta Resources on Thursday said that its Sterlite copper smelter plant at Thoothukkudi district, whose closure has been accompanied by two days of rioting, arson and police firing, has not been operating since March 27, 2018.

On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) ordered the closure of the plant with immediate effect and disconnected power supply to it for non-compliance of certain conditions imposed on the plant earlier.

“We would like to inform that the plant was not operating since March 27, 2018. We continue to work with the regulatory authorities, at all time ensuring compliance with the necessary regulations,” Vedanta said in a stock exchange filing.

“TNPCB vide its order dated May 23, 2018 ordered disconnection of electricity supply and closure of the company’s Copper Smelter Plant 1 at Thoothukkudi District, Tamil Nadu, with immediate effect.

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“We continue to work with the regulatory authorities, at all time ensuring compliance with the necessary regulations,” it said.

In terms of Regulation 30 of the SEBI Listing Regulations, please note that the said copper smelter has contributed Rs 1,373 crore, i.e. 5.4 per cent of the consolidated EBIDTA during the last financial year 2017-18, and the carrying value of property, plant and equipment as at March 31, 2018 was Rs 2,131 crore, i.e. 2 per cent of total assets,” it added.

Meanwhile, an uneasy calm prevailed in Thoothukudi after two days of riots, arson and firing and the situation continues to be tense across the district. Shops and commercial establishments were shut for the third consecutive day while government offices witnessed thin attendance.

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The death toll in police firing climbed to 13 on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy, who met reporters in Chennai, said his government would continue to take steps legally for closure of the Sterlite plant against which the local people have been protesting.

Referring to the protests and the functioning of the plant, the Chief Minister said that the late Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha had ordered closure of the Sterlite plant in 2013 but the company appealed against the order in the National Green Tribunal which allowed it to operate under some conditions.

On Tuesday, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court stayed the expansion of the Sterlite plant and directed the Vedanta Group to cease construction of its second unit in Thoothukudi.

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–IANS

bc/nir

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