TN agency cancels land allotted to Sterlite for expansion

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Chennai, May 29 (IANS) In a second successive blow to Vedanta Ltd, the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu Ltd (SIPCOT) on Tuesday cancelled in “larger public interest” the land allotted in Thoothukudi for the expansion of Sterlite Copper’s smelting plant.

In its letter to Vedanta, the SIPCOT cited the public protests against the plant’s expansion on grounds of increased pollution and expressed concerns over pollution caused by the first smelter plant.

The government agency said the price of 342.22 acres deposited will be refunded as per the norms.

On Monday, the government issued orders to close Vedanta’s first copper smelter unit, whose capacity is 400,000 tonnes per annum.

The closure order came after a total of 13 persons were killed in police firing on May 22 and the next day in protests in Thoothukudi against the continued functioning of the unit.

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In November 2017, Vedanta said its board approved the expansion of its copper smelter to 800,000 TPA with a capex of $717 million, of which $141 million had already been spent.

The company claimed that after completion the project will make Thoothukudi as one of the world’s largest single-location copper smelting complexes.

–IANS

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