Adani Group copper smelter: Why Gautam Adani entered metals business and what it means for India

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New Delhi: Billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Group has entered the metals industry with the launch of a $1.2 billion copper manufacturing plant in Mundra, Gujarat. The Mundra facility is set to be the world’s largest single-location copper manufacturing plant and is expected to create 2,000 direct jobs, Another 5,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created by the facility.

The plant will be operated by Kutch Copper owned by Adani Group flagship company Adani Enterprises. The facility aims to slash India’s dependence on imports. The first phase of the Mundra facility has been inaugurated with the supply of cathodes to customers, according to an exchange filing.

It is expected to have an annual refined copper output of 500,000 tonnes. The full-scale output is projected to be 1 million tonnes once the entire facility is up and running by March 2029.

What is the importance of Adani’s entry in copper business?

Copper is a widely used industrial metal with applications in industries such as renewable energy internet lines, and electronics heating elements. The Adani Group has entered the copper industry with an eye on renewable energy and to supplement India’s goals of turning carbon neutral by 2070, said Gautam Adani.

As of date, India manufactures 25,770 tonnes of copper every year, compared to China’s output of 5.7 million tonnes.

As of date, India meets 90 per cent of its copper requirements through imports. However, copper smelting prices are expected to decrease in 2024 owing to a capacity expansion in China and India due to increased global demand. India is expected to import 2 million tonnes of copper concentrate in 2024, compared to 1.3 million tonnes in 2023, Bloomberg reported, citing ANZ commodity strategist Soni Kumari.

As of 2023, India produced 563,000 tonnes of copper in comparison to a 1.5 mt annual demand, according to International Copper Association India data. India’s copper output took a hit from the closure of Vedanta’s smelter in 2018.

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