Hopeful that Sterlite copper plant will be reopened soon, says Vedanta

CEO Anil Agarwal addressed media persons on Monday on the sidelines of the OALP contract-signing event of the Petroleum Ministry.

Anil Agarwal, CEO of Vedanta Limited, the parent company of Sterlite Copper, has expressed hope that the now-defunct copper smelter would soon be reopened.

On Monday, Vedanta, along with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) signed a deal with the Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Gas for the extraction of hydrocarbon in four places in Tamil Nadu.

Anil Agarwal, who was at the event along with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, addressed media persons.

Speaking on the importance of the Sterlite copper plant, he said, “Thoothukudi is one of the most beautiful plants. If you don’t produce copper, you have to import it. (For the past) 22 years, we are producing. 10,000 people are working. We have to make sure that the people are satisfied, make sure that environmentally we do the best. They are our own people.”

When asked about the potential opening of the plant, Anil Agarwal expressed hope that it would happen ‘soon.’

“We are going through the NGT process as and when they complete and whatever verdict comes, will be applicable to everybody,” he said.

On Monday, the government allocated three offshore locations in Nagapattinam to Vedanta for the retrieval of hydrocarbon.

The Tamil Nadu government has locked horns with the Sterlite copper smelter at the National Green Tribunal, Madras High Court and the Supreme Court over the latter’s operations in the state.

Last week, the copper smelter submitted to the NGT 45,000 representations in its favour.

The three-member NGT committee is chaired by Justice Tarun Agarwal along with scientists Satish C Garkoti and HD Varalaxmi.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board ordered the closure of the plant on May 24, two days after police shot dead 13 civilians during the anti-Sterlite agitations in the district. The state has also since argued against its re-opening in various courts, stating that Sterlite causes pollution in the area.

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