The Tamil Nadu Government has ordered the permanent closure of Vedanta Sterlite’s copper smelter plant in Tuticorin. The government ordered the permanent shut-down of the smelter after police fired on protesters demanding its closure on environmental grounds.
P. Ramnath, CEO of Sterlite Copper shared in media that around 30,000 direct and indirect jobs can be affected by the closure of the Tuticorin plant. Additionally, the 800 SMEs that are dependent on the smelter for copper are also likely to suffer due to supply disruptions.
He further stated that shutting the copper smelter plant in Tuticorin would have critical economic implications.
D. Jayakumar, a Tamil Nadu minister, was quoted in media, saying that, “We've closed the plant based on various violations raised by the pollution control board. They will, of course, say that they have not violated any rule."
Vedanta Sterlite Copper is India’s second largest copper plant. Last year in November, Vedanta said its board approved the expansion of its copper smelter to 800,000 TPA with a capital expenditure of $717 million, of which $141 million had already been spent. The company claimed that after completing the project will make Tuticorin as one of the world's largest single-location copper smelting associations. However, the closure will affect 2,000 regular employees, and 2,000 contract workers and several others.