Scarcity of pitch and coke may hit aluminium production in Nalco

2021-12-07 16:20:43

According to a media report from Odisha, National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has feared scarcity of pitch and coke, two essential raw materials of aluminium smelting in last fifteen days may affect production in the coming days.

 According to reports, the plant’s store doesn’t have enough inventories to compensate the falling supply of these two essential materials and run the unit smoothly. The plant has been operating with two to three tankers of pitch per day during the last fortnight in place of 10 tanker-loads of pitch a day. The supply of coke has also been affected in the last fortnight. According to some Nalco officials, the production has been affected due to use of inferior quality anode.
In a smelter, cathodes are replaced after several years, but, anodes need to be replaced after every 72 shifts. Currently, 835 pots out of total 960 pots in the pot line of Nalco’s smelter plant are in operation. Every pot needs at least 16 anodes to keep it running implying the need of a large quantity of anodes to keep these pots functional on daily basis.
Raw anodes are manufactured in the green anode plant of the company and the production needs pitch and coke. Later on, they are baked in the bake-oven plant like bricks and ultimately used for aluminium production. Shortage of pitch and coke is said to have affected the quality of anodes to be used in the aluminium plant.
The prevailing shortage of coke and pitch in the plant is confirmed by Nalco’s general manager (O&M) D Mohapatra and he also added that additional orders have been placed to the agencies concerned and the problems would be solved soon.
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