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HINDALCO INDUSTRIES, ALUMINUM PRODUCTS, INDIAN ECONOMY, CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, KUMAR MANGALAM BIRLA, INVESTMENT, SATISH PAI : Hindalco Industries Ltd. has revived a $947 million plan to make more value-added aluminum products as the Indian economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s aluminum major will invest 7,000 crore to double its capacity to more than 600,000 tons annually over the next few years, the company said in an exchange statement on Monday. The company will kick off its long-term downstream investment plan by setting up a 34,000-ton aluminum extrusion project in the western Indian town of Silvassa, with production expected to start in two years.

“We are seeing a revival in the economy, with demand picking in the building and construction and automotive sectors," Managing Director Satish Pai said in the statement. “This has given us the confidence to move forward."

That’s a reversal from June, when the company said it would be slowing down its expansion plans due to the impact of Covid-related lockdowns on the economy.

India’s economy contracted a record 24% in the quarter ended June, after a nationwide lockdown brought businesses and mobility to a standstill. It improved in the July-September period, declining 7.5% from a year ago, with the gradual scaling back of restrictions and a pick up in manufacturing activity.

Hindalco said it expects India’s demand for such products to jump to 850,000 tons by 2030 from 373,000 tons currently.

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