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Adani Operationalises World's Largest Single Location Copper Plant

Utkarsh Classes 30-03-2024
Adani Operationalises World's Largest Single Location Copper Plant Energy 6 min read

The Adani-led conglomerate has announced the launch of the first phase of the world's largest copper manufacturing plant in Mundra, Gujarat. The plant will help to reduce India's dependence on copper imports and support the transition to clean energy.

  • Kutch Copper, a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises Limited, has commissioned the first phase of its greenfield copper refinery. They have shipped the first batch of cathodes to customers.
  • The facility will produce 0.5 million tonnes of refined copper per year during the first phase of its operation. It is expected to reach its full capacity of 1 million tonnes by March 2029.
  • Upon completing the second phase, Kutch Copper will become the world's largest single-location custom smelter, producing 1 million tonnes of copper annually. 
  • The company will benchmark ESG performance standards by leveraging cutting-edge technology and digitalization.

Importance of Copper Plant:

  • India is increasing copper production, a metal essential in moving away from fossil fuels. Copper is essential for developing various technologies to help us transition to clean energy sources such as electric vehicles, solar power, wind power and batteries. 
  • By doing so, India is set to create 2,000 direct and 5,000 indirect employment opportunities.
  • At present, India's per capita copper consumption is only 0.6 kg, which is less than the global average of 3.2 kg. 
  • However, as India aims to adopt clean energy systems and increase electric vehicle use, demand for copper is expected to double by 2030. The copper industry will play a key role in India's goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2070.
  • Kutch Copper is expanding its portfolio to include copper tubes, which can be used in air conditioning and refrigeration. Copper is the third most used industrial metal after steel and aluminium. 
  • Demand for copper is increasing due to its importance in renewable energy, telecommunications, electric vehicles, charging infrastructure and power transmission and distribution networks.
  • India's existing copper production needs to be increased to meet the growing demand, leading to increased dependence on imported copper.

Reduction in copper imports

  • India's imports have continuously increased in the last five years. In the 2022-2023 fiscal year spanning from April 2022 to March 2023, India imported 181,000 tonnes of copper – a new record.
  • However, during the same period, copper exports fell to a record low of 30,000 tonnes, less than the amount exported during the Covid pandemic. 
  • According to government data, India consumed an estimated 750,000 tonnes of copper during FY 2013, up from 612,000 tonnes consumed during FY 2012. 
  • This number is expected to increase to 1.7 million tonnes by 2027 due to the high demand for copper from the green energy industry. 
  • Global demand for copper from solar photovoltaic installations is estimated to double in the current decade to 2.25 million tonnes.

Lower carbon footprint

  • Kutch Copper uses technology that has the smallest carbon footprint possible. They set aside one-third of the plant area for green space, and 15 percent of their funds are dedicated to protecting the environment.
  • They use desalinated water for their operations and recycle treated wastewater within the processes to reduce their ecological impact. Additionally, they have implemented a zero-liquid discharge model.

Vedanta Limited is trying to reopen a plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, which has been closed for a long time.

Hindalco Industries Limited currently operates the country's largest copper smelter with a capacity of 0.5 million tonnes.

Copper production is more concentrated globally than oil. Chile and Peru are the top two producers, accounting for 38% of worldwide production.

FAQ

Answer: Adani Enterprises Limited

Answer: Mundra, Gujarat

Answer: Chile and Peru
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