Vedanta has partners for its semiconductor foray: Agarwal

Vedanta chairman Anil Aggarwal.
Vedanta chairman Anil Aggarwal.

Summary

  • Vedanta's earlier partner Foxconn departed from their $20 billion joint venture to establish a semiconductor fabrication unit and display unit in India

Naman Suri

naman.suri@livemint.com

New Delhi

Vedanta has lined up partners for semiconductor ventures, its chairman Anil Agarwal said at 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) today. The company has a number of partners and is waiting for government approvals, he said.

The announcement came days after its earlier partner Foxconn decided to discontinue the partnership with Vedanta. “We will begin our historic foray in semiconductor fab and glass fab manufacturing, post government’s approval. This will open an entirely new avenue of rapid growth for the company in a sector that is strategic for the country," he added.

Foxconn Technology Group had pulled out of its joint venture with Vedanta Ltd where they planned to invest $20 billion in India for setting up a semiconductor fabrication unit, display unit, and semiconductor assembly and testing unit. The 60:40 partnership could have set up country’s first semiconductor manufacturing unit under the $10 billion government-bac-ked financial incentive sch-eme and was estimated to be ahead of two consortia in the fray for getting sops under the government’s scheme.

AvanStrate Inc, a Vedanta subsidiary and the 4th largest manufacturer of glass substrates in the world owns niche patented technology for the production of glass substrates and is one of only four global companies to own this technology, Aggarwal announced.

Earlier this month, Vedanta announced that the company has added semiconductor and display glass ventures to its portfolio. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to set up the semiconductor and display fabs had also been signed by the respective SPVs involved, in September 2022, with the Gujarat government. The company, therefore, believes that it is in a strong position to leverage its experience and expertise in its glass business to its new presence in the display ecosystem in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

Aggarwal believes that the company’s presence in the natural resources sector will yield even stronger returns in the coming years.

Vedanta already has, in its portfolio, seven minerals that are key to new emerging technologies. “Our portfolio consists of high quality, low-cost, tier 1 assets with few if any, parallels globally. It is noteworthy that the demand is growing at double-digit rates for most of our products," he added.

The company plans to invest $1.7 billion, ie, 14,000 crore as growth capex across their businesses this fiscal.

They have already invested $1.2 billion in growth capex in FY23 to augment their assets and production. In FY23, the company’s revenue stood at 1,45,404 crore, an 11% increase Y-o-Y, with the EBITDA facing a 22 percent decline to 35,241 crore. The company further made the highest-ever production of aluminium, zinc, and steel and has recently acquired coal and bauxite assets to further bolster its raw material security.

With ESG at the core of the business, the chairman said that the company will accelerate its transition to net-zero operations. “We have pledged $5 billion over the next 10 years to net net-zero emissions by 2050. And four of the company’s businesses - Cairn Oil & Gas, Hindustan Zinc Limited, FACOR & Iron Ore Business - have also become water positive," he added.

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