| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI May 10 Sulphur dioxide emissions from
India's top copper smelter were within limits during an
inspection by a court panel, according to a report seen by
Reuters, which could help lead to a ruling in favour of
reopening the plant.
The Sterlite Industries' plant, which produces
30,000 tonnes of refined copper a month - or more than half of
India's total production, was shut on March 30 after complaints
about emissions. The shutdown is squeezing local supplies of
refined copper and boosting prices in India.
National Green Tribunal, a fast-track court hearing the
case, had set up an expert committee to measure emissions and
examine the working condition of machinery, among other things.
"The emissions from all the stacks were well within the
permissible limit prescribed by the Central Pollution Control
Board when the plant was in normal operation," said the report
by P.S.T. Sai and Ligy Philip.
"In addition to this, the ambient SO2 concentrations in all
the 16 monitoring stations were within the permissible limit,
when the plant was in normal operation."
In a hearing on Wednesday, Justice Swatanter Kumar of the
tribunal said that the expert panel's report had to be given to
all parties before the next hearing on May 14.
The closure of the smelter, which uses imported
concentrates, has pushed about 3,000 tonnes per day of
concentrates onto the market. Cashing in on regional oversupply
after the closure, smelters across Asia have been charging the
highest fees in five months to process concentrates.
Sterlite is a unit of London-listed resources conglomerate
Vedanta Resources Plc, which is controlled by
billionaire Anil Agarwal.