Millennium Post

Indian aluminium consumption to soar to 20 mt: Vedanta chief

Describing aluminium as the future, Vedanta Resources Chairman Anil Agarwal on Saturday said that the consumption of the metal will rise to 20 million tonnes (mt) from the present 2 mt going ahead. 

“India only has 1.5 mt aluminium production and the consumption is about 2 mt. It is going to be 20 mt. Every thing will move to aluminium. Whether railway, construction, aerospace, automobiles,” he said replying to a query on setting up small and medium firms in India’s manufacturing sector.

Agarwal, however did not elaborate on the time period. Speaking at a CII event here, he said that aluminium, as a light metal, is being considered as the future of industry and setting up a small and medium enterprise (SME) in the sector will require an investment between Rs 25 crore and Rs 500 crore.

Vedanta Ltd, part of the London-listed metals and mining conglomerate, through its subsidiary Balco produces Aluminium in India. On loans from banks to SMEs, he said: “It is a myth (that banks cannot lend). They are looking for SME proposals.” 

When asked about the downturn in mines and minerals sector both globally and in India, he said: “This is the time to build. Who bothers about competition, we love it. Important thing is opportunity. We can grow in a slow market.”

When asked about reasons behind India lagging in production of oil and gas, the mining baron said it is just a “perception”.

“The perception is that we have no oil. We have a habit of staying poor. India has huge reserves of oil. When we acquired Cairn India there was marginal feed. Today, if the government gives support and we go full hog, I can create 4 times production,” he added.

“I feel Indian government and state-run ONGC should give oil fields to Indian entrepreneurs on revenue sharing basis and give clear environmental norms,” he added. He said that his firm Cairn India is aspiring to produce 50 per cent of India’s oil consumption.
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