Aluminium production from India could rise by up to 25 percent over the next four to five years, which would see the country’s smelters combine to produce over 5 million metric tons per annum by mid-decade. Such was the message delivered by an executive at Vedanta Ltd last week.
Vedanta’s director of commodities for the aluminium business Deeptaman Mukherjee said on Thursday that the estimate is based upon the projects currently underway on the subcontinent, both by his firm and by others.
“The 4 million tonnes of metal production today potentially could increase to 5 million tonnes in about five to six years’ time.”
While speaking to a virtual conference hosted by AZ China, Mukherjee said that that increase could be even greater if the domestic aluminium sector grew in the next several years.
“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 aluminium production.”
Mukherjee is scarcely alone in his prediction. Fitch Solutions recently released a report naming the Indian economy a “stand-out growth market” for aluminium consumption over the next few years. The country’s aluminium demand is likely to increase due to the country’s buildout of its infrastructure. The firm projected demand to triple by 2030 to 9.5 million metric tons per annum.
Vedanta is well placed to feed that demand, Mukherjee assured the conference. The company is in the process of bumping up the capacity at its Lanjigarh alumina refinery to 5 million metric tons. Currently able to produce 2 million metric tons of alumina, the US$630 million project will complete the boost of the 2 million metric ton per annum plant by mid-2023. Vedana is expanding the alumina refinery in an effort at weaning itself off overseas feedstock for its aluminium smelters.