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Adani $1.1 billion copper project will begin operations From March 2024

Adani copper project

The Adani Group’s copper-producing facility in Mundra, Gujarat will commence its operations in March 2022, reducing India’s reliance on foreign imports while aiding the energy transition. Copper is known to be a popular conductor due to its use in wires for deeper electrification; as such, it is essential for technologies such as electric vehicles, charging systems, PV cells, wind turbines and batteries that play a critical role in energy transition.

KCL, a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), is setting up a greenfield copper refinery in two phases to produce 1 million tonnes of refined copper annually.

Based on sources with direct knowledge of the matter, KCL has closed a syndicated club loan for Phase-1, with a capacity of 0.5 million tonnes per year.

It is expected that the first phase will be operational by the end of this fiscal year.

According to Adani, at the company’s AGM a few days back, there are several projects underway, including the Navi Mumbai Airport and the Copper Smelter, both of which are on schedule

A consortium of banks led by SBI completed a debt tie-up with the Rs 8,783 crore-greenfield project earlier this year, they said, adding the consortium provided all of the debt requirement of Rs 6,071 crore for Phase-1.

Moreover, all the major approvals have been obtained to ensure timely implementation of the project. Adani Enterprises Ltd has invested equity in the project.

Due to the growth of renewable energy, telecom, and electric vehicle industries, copper is the third most commonly used industrial metal after steel and aluminium.

In the past five years, India’s copper imports have consistently increased as a result of disruptions to domestic supply.

According to government data, India imported a record 1,81,000 tonnes of copper during FY23, while exports plunged to 30,000 tonnes, even lower than during the pandemic.

On the back of huge demand from the green energy industry, the country consumed 7,50,000 tonnes of copper in FY23 (612 KT in FY22).

Copper demand from solar photovoltaic (PV) installations alone is expected to double over the next decade to 2.25 million tonnes.

Red metal will be a significant consumer of the Adani group, which is rapidly expanding its renewable portfolio.

In addition to encouraging ‘Make in India’, the plant is strategically located on the west coast and will contribute to the development of green energy infrastructure. In the future, the Mundra Special Economic Zone could become a hub for downstream ecosystems based on value-added copper products.

The location provides the additional advantage of access to lower-cost and uninterrupted energy supplies and logistical infrastructure to serve domestic and international markets.

The company has long-term supply agreements for copper concentrate, which is its key raw material. According to sources, Kutch Copper will be one of the world’s most sustainable and low-cost copper producers because of its strategic location and integrated value chain advantages.

The plant’s sustainable solution-based design will have zero liquid discharge. Green power will be used and byproducts will be used in cement and other businesses.

As byproducts, the plant will produce 25 tonnes of old, 250 tonnes of silver, 1,500 kilotonnes per annum (KTPA) sulphuric acid, and 250 KTPA phosphoric acid.

Sulphuric acid, a key raw material for phosphatic fertilisers, detergents, and specialty chemicals, is imported by India in approximately two million tonnes.

Globally, copper production is more concentrated than oil. Chile and Peru account for 38 percent of the world’s copper production.

Copper demand will grow during the energy transition – moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources – especially in the US, China and Europe. By 2035, the US is expected to import up to two-thirds of its copper needs.

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