Vedanta Scraps Plans to Sell Copper Smelter in India as Gautam Adani's Group Seeks to Boost Production
Vedanta Scraps Plans to Sell Copper Smelter in India as Gautam Adani's Group Seeks to Boost Production

Vedanta Scraps Plans to Sell Copper Smelter in India as Gautam Adani's Group Seeks to Boost Production

  • 31-Jan-2023 12:05 PM
  • Journalist: Patrick Knight

New Delhi [India]: Sterlite Copper, a 400,000-tons-a-year plant, is primed to play an important role in India's shift towards electric vehicles and renewables. As part of this transition, the seven-month process to offload the plant has been scrapped and the company will now work with local population to restart the factory that was earlier shut on environmental concerns. This venture has attracted interest from Gautam Adani's renowned group.

Vedanta Ltd. has decided to halt plans to sell its Copper smelter in Tamil Nadu, India - a plant responsible for almost 40% of the country's Copper production. Instead, the company is focused on restarting operations there. This is according to sources close to the situation.

The Indian Supreme Court will hear a petition from Vedanta on February 21st, seeking to lift the local government's order that shut down its 400,000 tons-per-year Sterlite Copper plant. This comes after scrapping a seven-month offloading process for the plant. Vedanta plans to work with the local population to restart the factory, which was closed due to environmental concerns.

India is set to produce a surge in Copper output and drastically reduce imports by restarting their smelter. This refined metal has become increasingly important in the nation’s transition towards electric vehicles and renewable energy sources, prompting billionaire Gautam Adani's group to pursue their ambition of becoming one of India's largest Copper producers.

India “can’t afford to close this plant permanently when the demand for Copper is at its peak in the country,” a spokesman for Vedanta stated in an emailed statement, replying to a query on it scrapping the sale process. “There has been a positive sway among the people of the region with more voices coming forward to support the reopening of the plant.”

Vedanta Resources, controlled by billionaire Anil Agarwal, is reportedly working with Axis Capital Ltd. to sell the assets of its Copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi, India. This follows a newspaper advertisement from June inviting prospective bidders. The Thoothukudi smelter has been closed since 2018 due to a government order following the deaths of more than a dozen people who were protesting pollution caused by the facility.

India has become a net importer of the metal for the first time in nearly two decades following the closure of a plant, according to a spokesperson from Vedanta.

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