Vedanta Group company, Sterlite Copper has issued advertisements about the sale, inviting Expressions of Interest for the Tuticorin plant, in a process executed in collaboration with Axis Capital. A person aware of the developments related to the advertisement told ET that the company was expected to make a statement on Monday.
A person aware of the developments related to the advertisement told ET that the company was expected to make a statement on Monday. Another official with Vedanta confirmed the corporate decision to sell the plant.
In the advertisement, Vedanta pegs the plant capacity at 4 lakh tonnes a year. The copper smelter plant, along with its sulphuric acid plant and copper refinery, are on sale. Vedanta said the plant contributed to 40% of the country’s national demand for copper and held the lion’s share of the sulphuric acid market in Tamil Nadu.
In its heyday, Sterlite Copper employed in several thousands, and contributed significantly to indirect employment in Thoothukudi.
In May 2018, the local population in Thoothukudi rose in protest against an expansion plan—on concerns that the plant was causing environmental pollution. Following the violent protests that led to the closure of the plant during the AIADMK Government headed by Edappadi Palaniswami, Vedanta had taken the legal route to fight the state pollution regulator’s order to close the plant.
The case is in Supreme Court now, after Vedanta appealed against a Madras High Court’s decision to dismiss its plea to reverse the original order of the state pollution regulator closing the plant.
Vedanta, meanwhile, had significantly reduced Human Resource at the plant, relocating them to factories elsewhere.