London: Vedanta Resources Plc., India’s largest producer of copper and zinc, will boost annual production of aluminium to nine lakh tonnes in 2009, to capitalize on higher prices and improving local demand.
A five-lakh-tonne smelter, in Orissa’s Jharsuguda district, and expansions to existing capacity will allow the company to increase output, Gunjan Gupta, vice-president of sales and marketing, said at an industry conference in Bahrain on 15 May 2007.
“India will be among the fastest-growing consumers of aluminium in the world, given the country’s economic growth and its low usage rates per capita,” Gupta said, speaking at the conference organized by London-based consulting company, CRU.
Aluminium demand growth will be strong enough in India to absorb an expected 50% increase in production in Asia by 2009, Gupta said. The amount of surplus production will shrink in 2009, as usage in the aerospace, automotive and manufacturing industries picks up, he said.
The Jharsuguda smelter will be commissioned next year, with the first phase of production to begin by early 2009. Full output is expected to begin by early 2010, Gupta said.
London-based Vedanta is bidding against Hindalco Industries Ltd and Swiss commodity trader Glencore International AG for a stake in Aluminij d.d. Mostar, the largest aluminium smelter in the Balkans, worth at least €76.8 million (Rs422.4crore).