New Delhi: Mining conglomerate Vedanta will invest up to Rs 3,000 crore in copper operations to double the capacity to 8 lakh tonnes by 2019, making the firm India's largest producer of the metal.
The firm led by billionaire Anil Agrawal has a custom smelter, a refinery, phosphoric acid plant, sulphuric acid plant, copper rod plant and three captive power plants at Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu) as well as a refinery and two copper rod plants at Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli).
"We will invest Rs 2,500-3,000 crore in our copper operations to double the capacity from 400 kilo tonnes at present. This will happen by 2019," CEO of Vedanta's Copper business R Ramnath told PTI.
Copper, which accounts for over 30 per cent of Vedanta's total revenue, is an important industrial metal with extensive use in sectors such as power, telecom, consumer durables and electrical goods.
The company has been granted around 250 acres of land by the Tamil Nadu government in the special economic zone area in Titucorin, where it will set up another smelter of 400 kilo tonnes capacity, he added.
After the addition of this facility, Vedanta will become India's largest copper producer.
At present, India has a total copper capacity of 10 lakh tonnes, of which Hindalco accounts for 5 lakh tonnes followed by Vedanta (4 lakh tonnes) and state-run Hindustan Copper (1 lakh tonnes).
In April-June quarter of 2016-17, Vedanta's revenue from copper business stood at USD 696 million, lower by 21 per cent year-on-year and 15 per cent sequentially.
Production from the Tuticorin smelter stood at 100,000 tonnes of cathodes during the June quarter.
The company said it expects the Tuticorin smelter to produce 4,00,000 tonnes of cathodes in 2016-17 fiscal, ending March 2017.