“India imports 100% of its nickel needs; our objective will be to stimulate domestic production which would fuel India’s transition to a net zero economy, ”President Anil Agarwal said in a statement on Monday.
The company did not disclose the size of the investment.
India’s demand for nickel is currently set at 45 KTPA, according to reports, which is fully met by imports. Currently, the Nicomet plant has a production capacity of 7.5 KTPA Nickel & Cobalt.
Vedanta will invest more to expand its capabilities
“With an ambitious growth plan in place, Vedanta is well positioned to meet 50% of the country’s total nickel demand,” the statement said.
The acquisition of Nicomet is in line with Vedanta’s ESG mission and is a big step in supporting India’s carbon neutrality goals, the company said in a press release.
Nickel, a strategic mineral, is an essential input in the manufacture of stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Likewise, cobalt is a key lithium-ion battery component for electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and has other uses like the superalloy for making steel. Nickel and cobalt are both seen as the minerals of the future that will play a leading role in the transition to renewable and cleaner energy.
“With Vedanta’s foray into the production of these essential minerals, India will be in a better position to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles and support the production of high-quality steel products,” the company statement said.
The acquisition comes at a time when the nickel market is tightening with an increase in demand for batteries and an increase in global stainless steel production in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue into 2022, Agarwal added.