Hindalco Lines Up Rs 2,000 Crore Capex For Expansion
A porter walks past a shop that stocks products of Hindalco Industries Ltd., in an old section of New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Amit Bhargava/Bloomberg News)

Hindalco Lines Up Rs 2,000 Crore Capex For Expansion

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Aluminium major Hindalco Industries Ltd. on Friday said it has decided to invest Rs 2,000 crore this year, majority of which will go into alumina capacity expansion at Utkal Alumina refinery and the rest for working capital.

“We remain focused on strengthening our balance sheet through allocation of capex towards growth strategies and generating positive free cash flows. We have a capex of Rs 2,000 crore, most of which will go towards the capacity expansion of Utkal Alumina refinery and the some towards working capital and maintenance work,” Hindalco Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said.

While addressing company' shareholders at the 60th annual general meeting, Birla said, on the downstream value added products side the company aims to double the share of value-added products in the domestic aluminium business over the next 5-6 years with an investment of around $1-1.2 billion in India.

“It will also expand its alumina capacities with an expansion at Utkal Alumina refinery by 500 kilotonne, to be commissioned by fiscal year 2021. Since per capita aluminium consumption in India is still far below the global average, there is significant potential for higher consumption, given India's current demographic and economic outlook,” he added.

In copper, he said, Hindalco will continue to focus on expanding its value added products capacity.

The newly commissioned continuous copper cast rod plant CCR-3 is ramping up well.

“The share of CC rods to total cathodes has risen to nearly 71 percent in FY19, from the earlier 41 percent. This will enable us to cater to the growing demand for copper rods in the domestic market. However, imports of aluminium and copper continue to hurt the domestic aluminium and copper industries,” he added.

Further, he said, Novelis’ (the world leader in rolled aluminium products and acquired by Hindalco in 2007) organic and inorganic expansions will help drive overall business to the next level with its product diversity and market leadership.

“Novelis announced organic expansion plans of 200 Kt in Kentucky in the U.S. and 100 Kt in Changzhou, China, of the automotive finishing line, which are expected to be commissioned in FY21,” he added.

In addition, it has also announced plans to expand rolling, casting and recycling capacity in Pinda, Brazil to meet growing customer demand, he said adding that this is expected to be commissioned in FY22.

Commenting on aluminium pricing outlook, Birla said in this turbulent global environment, it will be difficult to predict prices but due to shortage of supply it looks up.

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