Sanjeev Gupta told an industry gathering on Monday that his GFG Group expects to top 1 million metric tons per annum of aluminum-smelting capacity within the next two years by way of acquisitions.
Speaking at the London Metal Exchange (LME) Seminar, Gupta relayed to virtual attendees that this total would be a significant rise above its current aluminium-smelting capacity of 600 thousand metric tons per annum.
“We’re targeting more acquisitions. Aluminum will play a vital role in the transition to a sustainable world, by reducing the weight in electric cars, for example: we see growing demand ahead.”
Though Gupta declined to give specifics, he indicated that the primary place the group intends to acquire new capacity is Europe. The firm has already made significant moves on the continent, adding the Dunkerque smelter, the Lochaber smelter, and the Duffel rolling mill to its portfolio all in just the last year.
“We have to reduce aluminium’s carbon footprint dramatically. In aluminium as with steel, this is an area where Europe can lead […] now is the time to create a low carbon aluminium industry right here in Europe.”
GFG Group subsidiary SIMEC announced this month a significant investment in renewable energy in Spain, where it purchased a 1.2-GW solar and wind power facility that will come online in three years. Industry watchers say this acquisition is likely to be the first foray into energy-intensive industrial production by the GFG Group.
Gupta’s firm is also discussing a possible purchase of the 228 thousand metric tons per annum San Ciprian smelter in Spain from Alcoa. Beset by high energy prices, the aluminium smelter is on the verge of shuttering capacity and furloughing its workforce. Though no deal is imminent, sources say the Group continues to have an interest in acquiring the Galicia plant.