Vedanta to invest $8 bn in 3 years
India offers immense growth potential, says Vedanta Chairman Navin Agarwal
New Delhi: Metals and mining giant Vedanta Ltd on Friday said it will pump in around $8 billion (around Rs 56,000 crore) over the next three years on various projects across businesses. There is immense growth potential in sight, Vedanta Ltd Chairman Navin Agarwal said at the company’s annual general meeting, where he made the investment announcement.
“As India’s largest private sector oil producer, your company contributes 27% to domestic production and aspires to take it up to 50%. Towards this, your company will invest $3-4 billion over the next two to three years, in various growth projects,” he said.
This year, Vedanta recorded all-time high production in its zinc-lead-silver and aluminium businesses. The company will further invest $3-4 billion in these businesses in the next two to three years, Agarwal added.
On the Tuticorin unit, which had been permanently shut down by the Tamil Nadu government following the deaths of 13 people in police firing on protesters against the plant, Agarwal said the company was greatly grieved by the tragic loss of lives and had extended all possible support to impacted families.
In April, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board rejected Vedanta Sterlite’s plea to renew the Consent To Operate certification, saying the company had not complied with the stipulated conditions. Following this, the government had issued a permanent closure notice to the plant. After Sterlite announced its plans to expand the Tuticorin plant, villagers started fresh protests that continued for over 100 days, culminating in the May 22 police firing that claimed 13 lives and left scores injured.
In 2017-18, Vedanta Ltd increased its revenue by 22%, year on year to Rs 92,900 crore. Its EBITDA or operating profit also increased 19% to Rs 25,500 crore, and profit after taxes rose 10% to Rs 8,200 crore. “Free cash flow stood at Rs 7,900 crore and we reduced our gross debt by Rs 8,500 crore,” Agarwal said.
During the year, the company acquired Electrosteel Steels Ltd, integrating it with its existing iron ore business.
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