Vedanta To Invest $8 Billion In 2-3 Years
Mining major Vedanta Ltd. is planning to invest nearly $8 billion over the next three years on various projects.
“There is immense growth potential,” said Chairman Navin Agarwal at the company’s annual general meeting. “Entire funding for these projects will be taken up through internal accruals and the capital expenditure won’t increase the debt.”
This year, Vedanta recorded all-time high production in its zinc-lead-silver and aluminum businesses, Agarwal said. The company plans to invest $3-4 billion in these businesses, he added.
“As India’s largest private oil producer, the company contributes 27 percent to domestic production and aims to take it up to 50 percent in two to three years,” Agarwal said.
During the year, the company acquired Electrosteel Steels Ltd., integrating it with the iron ore business. Electrosteel is producing at its full capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum, he said, adding it can be ramped up to 2.5 MTPA in the next two years at a nominal capex of $300-400 million. But, Agarwal said, the company is not looking at any acquisition now but will keep an eye out if anything suits its synergies.
In 2017-18, Vedanta’s revenue jumped 22 percent on a yearly basis to Rs 92,900 crore. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased 19 percent from the last year to Rs 25,500 crore, while its profit after tax rose 10 percent 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.
The Supreme Court had ordered Vedanta to shut down its 400,000-tonne copper smelter plant in Tamil Nadu after 13 people were killed in police firing during protests.
Agarwal said the company was greatly grieved by the tragic loss of lives and had extended all possible support to impacted families.