Mumbai: India’s Hindustan Zinc Ltd, a unit of Vedanta Resources Plc will expand its zinc and lead production capacity to about 8,00,000 tonne by middle of next year from 4,85,000 tonne, a company official said.
The company, India’s largest zinc producer, currently has 4,00,000 tonne zinc production capacity and 85,000 tonne for lead.
K.K. Kaura, chief executive officer of Vedanta Resources, said the addition in capacity would be through operation of a new 1,80,000 tonne smelter and improving production in existing smelters.
Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd, another unit of Vedanta, plans to raise annual production capacity of copper at its Tuticorin smelter in southern India by over 27% to 400,000 tonne in the financial year ending March 2008.
“We are expecting copper consumption to go up in India,” Kishore Kumar, the firm’s chief executive officer, said on the sidelines of a metals conference.
Kumar said his company would raise capacity to meet a rapid rise in demand, stoked by an expanding economy that grew an estimated 9.2% in the financial year that ended in March, its fastest pace of growth in 18 years.
India’s copper production is likely to double to one million tonne a year by 2013 to feed electrical equipment and telecommunication industries, Kumar said.
He said copper production in China, the world’s biggest consumer, would grow to over 5 million tonne from current 3.6 million tonne -- over the same period.
Sterlite exports 60% of its copper products and sells the rest in the domestic market, he said. The firm dominates the Indian copper industry, where Hindalco Industries and Hindustan Copper also have presence.