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Adani to Commission USD 1.2 Bn. Greenfield Copper Plant at Mundra by FY-25

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Kutch Copper Ltd. (KCL), part of the Adani Group, will commence operations at its greenfield Mundra Copper plant by the end of March 2024, which is set to be one of the world’s largest such single-location facilities. This plant is being developed at a cost of about USD 1.2 billion.

Kutch Copper Ltd. was incorporated in 2021 specifically for Adani Group’s entry into the Copper business.

Plant to be Commissioned in 2 Phases, Full Capacity to be Attained by FY-29

KCL’s Mundra plant will be commissioned in two phases, and it is expected to be fully commissioned in March 2029. Once complete, the plant will have a production capacity of 1 Million Metric Tonne Per Annum (MMTPA) of refined Copper.

In phase 1, scheduled to be complete in March-end 2024, 0.5 MMTPA of manufacturing capacity will be commissioned, while the remaining 0.5 MMTPA will be added in phase 2.

Copper Cathodes, Rods & By-Products to be Produced

Kutch Copper Ltd.’s Mundra facility will manufacture Copper cathodes and rods. Adani Enterprises’ Annual Report for 2021-22 mentioned that downstream Copper products such as tubes may also be produced at the Mundra Copper plant. Apart from this, precious metals such as Gold and Silver will processed at this new plant.

Mint reported on 4th February 2024 that the new plant, upon completion of phase 1, will produce about 25 Tonne Per Annum (TPA) of Gold and 250 TPA of Silver as by-products.

In addition to above mentioned products, 1.5 MTPA of Sulphuric acid and 0.25 MTPA of Phosphoric acid will be produced at KCL’s plant once phase 1 is deployed. Phosphoric acid is a key ingredient in the manufacture of phosphorus-containing fertilisers.

One of the Largest Single-Location Copper Smelting Complex in the World

Once fully commissioned, KCL’s Mundra Copper plant will be one of the largest Copper smelting facilities in the world.

On 5th February 2024, The Telegraph reported Mr. Vinay Prakash, Managing Director of Kutch Copper Ltd. saying, Adani wants to become a global leader in the Copper business, leveraging the Adani Group’s strong position in resource trading, logistics, renewable power, and infrastructure, and further that the Indian industrial giant’s aim “is to be the world’s largest Copper smelting complex by 2030”.

Mr. Prakash explained that Copper business is a ‘strategic fit’ in realising Adani Group’s energy transition goals.

According to Statista, as of November 2023, the largest Copper smelting plant in the world is located in Guixi, China, with a capacity of 1.1 MMTPA.

India’s Copper Scenario & Kutch Copper’s Anticipated Role in Cutting Down Imports

As per the International Copper Association India’s (ICA India) Copper Demand Study in India (FY23), the country’s Copper demand during FY-23 was around 15.22 lakh tonne. Contrastingly, India’s production of refined Copper stood at about 5.5 lakh tonne during FY-23.

This data shows that India has a Copper production deficit, and therefore the nation is dependent on imports. In FY-23 alone, India’s Copper imports amounted about Rs. 27,131 crore.

Therefore, KCL’s upcoming plant assumes major significance considering India’s Copper requirements.

Further, while Hindustan Copper Ltd. is the major public-sector Copper producer, there exists a relative vacuum in the private-sector Copper smelting space since the closure of Vedanta’s 4 lakh TPA Sterlite Copper plant in 2018. KCL’s plant is expected to partially compensate this vacuum.