SC caps petcoke import for aluminium, calcining industries

New Delhi, Oct 9 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday restricted the import of petcoke by the aluminium industry to 0.5 million tonnes and for the calcining industry to 1.4 million tonnes per year, making it clear that imported petcoke will only be used as feedstock.

A bench of Justice Madan B.

Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta restricted the import even as senior counsel Kapil Sibal and P. Chidambaram urged the limit be relaxed.

However, they settled for the limit as their plea was opposed by amicus curiae Aparajita Singh and the court said that it will hear the matter if they wanted imports above the limit.

Earlier, the amicus curiae informed the bench about the clearance given by court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The court earlier relaxed a ban on the use of petcoke by permitting its use in the cement, lime kiln, calcium carbide and gasification industries.

The court in its July 26 order said: "..this will be in compliance with the WTO norms. These industries may be permitted to import petcoke for use as a feedstock or in the manufacturing process and not as a fuel."

The court on Tuesday also sought a response from Benguluru-based Graphite India, directing it to file an affidavit on "why the use of calcined petcoke should not be stopped by it with immediate effect."

The court had, by its September 6 order, permitted Graphite India to use petcoke for three months with a caveat that it will not compromise on emission standards.

The court was informed on Tuesday that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority had taken up the matter with Graphite India and with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and it was informed by the company that the Whitefield plant was using Indian petcoke and not imported one.

The amicus curiae told the court that because of the use of petcoke, thick layers of black dust were settling on exposed portions of houses in the plant's vicinity.

She also urged the court to consider the issue of regulating import and use of petcoke.



Source: IANS