The copper-producing facility owned by the billionaire Gautam Adani-led business will begin operations in March of 2019 and contribute to India’s energy transformation by reducing its reliance on imports.
The “metal of electrification” is copper since deeper electrification necessitates wires, which are often composed of copper. Electric vehicles (EVs), charging infrastructure, solar photovoltaics (PV), wind, batteries, and other technologies essential to the energy revolution all need copper.
A greenfield copper refinery project is being built up by Kutch Copper Ltd (KCL), a subsidiary of the group’s flagship Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), to produce refined copper at a rate of 1 million tonnes per year in two stages.
According to people with firsthand knowledge of the situation, KCL has secured financial closure for Phase-1, which has an annual capacity of 0.5 million tonnes, via a syndicated club loan.
According to them, the first phase should start operating by the end of the current fiscal year.
“Of the many projects underway, two of the key ones include the Navi Mumbai Airport and the Copper Smelter, and both are on schedule,” Adani said at the company’s AGM a few days ago.
According to them, the Rs 8,783 crore greenfield project concluded a comprehensive financing tie-up with a consortium of banks headed by SBI earlier this year. The consortium of banks also supplied the whole Rs 6,071 crore loan need for Phase-1.
The project’s corporate parent, Adani Enterprises Ltd., has contributed stock. Additionally, it has all the necessary permissions in place to guarantee prompt implementation.
After steel and aluminum, copper is the third most common industrial metal, and as the renewable energy, communications, and electric vehicle sectors expand quickly, so does demand for copper.
Due to local supply interruptions and India’s inability to satisfy this demand via domestic copper production, the country is now more dependent on imported copper. Over the last five years, India’s imports have steadily increased.
According to official statistics, India purchased a record 1,81,000 tonnes of copper in FY23 (April 2022 to March 2023 fiscal), but exports plunged to a record low of 30,000 tonnes, even lower than the preceding period.
In FY23 (612 KT in FY22), the nation is expected to have used 7,50,000 tonnes of copper. By 2027, the amount is anticipated to increase to 1.7 million tonnes due to the enormous demand from the green energy sector.
In the next decade, it is anticipated that the global demand for copper from solar photovoltaic (PV) installations alone would treble to 2.25 million tonnes.
According to insiders, the Adani company, which is quickly expanding its renewable portfolio, will be a key buyer of the red metal.
The strategically placed factory in Mundra on the west coast will support “Make in India” and be a key component in the development of the green energy infrastructure. The project has the potential to turn the Mundra Special Economic Zone into a center for copper value-added product ecosystems in the future.
According to sources, the site also offers access to a more affordable, reliable energy supply as well as logistical infrastructure to meet both local and foreign demand.
On the operational front, the business has long-term supply contracts in place for copper concentrate, a crucial raw material. According to reports, this will help Kutch Copper become one of the most sustainable and affordable copper producers in the world, combined with its advantageous location and integrated value chain advantage.
The plant’s sustainable solution-based project design will have zero liquid discharge while taking into account the ESG goals of the organization. It will investigate the use of green energy and the use of byproducts for cement and other industries.
The factory will also produce 250 tonnes of silver, 25 tonnes of old each year, 1,500 KTPA of sulphuric acid, and 250 KTPA of phosphoric acid as byproducts.
Sulphuric acid, a crucial raw ingredient for producing phosphatic fertilizers, detergents, and specialty chemicals, is imported by India in quantities of around two million tonnes.
Oil production is not as concentrated as copper production worldwide. 38% of the global output is accounted for by the top two producers, Chile and Peru.
In addition to India, the US, China, and Europe are predicted to have significant demand increases throughout the energy transition, which involves switching from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy. The US is expected to import up to two thirds of its copper requirements by 2035.