Annual aluminum production in India could reach 5 million tonnes in five to six years, an official from metals group Vedanta Ltd said on Thursday, an increase of around 25% from current levels.
“The 4 million tonnes of metal production today potentially could increase to 5 million tonnes in about five to six years’ time,” based on projects that companies are currently working on in India, said Deeptaman Mukherjee, director of commodities for the aluminum business at Vedanta.
“If there is a new market participant that comes in, possibly that 5 million tonnes could increase to about 5.5-6 million tonnes of aluminum production,” he added during a panel discussion at the AZ China virtual aluminum conference.
India will be the “stand-out growth market” for aluminum consumption in the coming years as it pursues construction projects to resolve an infrastructure deficit, according to Fitch Solutions, which sees usage more than tripling to 9.5 million tonnes by 2030 from 2.6 million tonnes this year.
Expansion of Vedanta’s Lanjigarh alumina refinery in the eastern state of Odisha, coupled with ramp-ups elsewhere, will mean India will have enough of the raw material to feed the domestic aluminum smelting industry, Mukherjee said.
Vedanta is raising the annual capacity at Lanjigarh to 5 million tonnes of alumina from 2 million tonnes at a cost of about 46.81 billion rupees ($630 million).
Mukherjee said the output increase was expected to be achieved in 12-18 months’ time and would reduce Vedanta’s reliance on alumina imports.
The company produced 1.9 million tonnes of aluminum in 2020.
(By Tom Daly; Editing by Mark Potter)