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IN - Aluminum companies seek India government help as mills go out of business

India's aluminum industry, led by Hindalco Industries and Vedanta, are urging the government to raise the import duty on the metal to check surging shipments from China and the Middle East, as several mills face closure amid falling prices and raw material shortages.

Vedanta's aluminum unit, the largest producer of the metal in India, said Monday it begun to close down its sheet rolling division and foundry at Korba in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, a move that will result in the loss of 1,000 jobs. The company's Bharat Aluminium (BALCO) unit has sought permission from the government to close the plant by Dec. 8.

"The closure of the rolling mill is in the backdrop of a crash in global aluminum prices and the prohibitive cost of coal to run our power plants," Ramesh Nair, chief executive, BALCO, said in a statement on Monday. "Worldwide, there has been a fall in energy cost, but for BALCO the absence of linkage coal and regulatory issue for starting our coal mines is making operations economically unviable."

Source: asia.nikkei.com

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