BHUBANESWAR: Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) is gearing itself up to cater to the domestic copper demand following the shutdown of Vedanta’s smelter plant at Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu. The state-owned miner plans to ramp up its smelting capacity to 1 lakh tonne per annum from the existing 70,000 tonne.
Aside from realising its primary smelter at Ghatshila, if HCL can operate its Rs 300-crore secondary smelting plant (with a capacity of 50,000 tonne per annum) at the Gujarat copper project by March this year, the company’s smelting capacity is expected to reach 50 per cent higher than a year ago.
The expansion plan — to be implemented in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand — aims to enhance the production capacity by six times to 20 million tonne per year.
“On completion, HCL will be able to meet 30 per cent of the domestic demand for copper, against the current five per cent,” said HCL chairman Santosh Sharma.
Commenting on mines expansion plan, Sharma said the company has reopened two mines in Jharkhand and Rajasthan and is looking to open more in near future. The mines are expected to further gain momentum, as major tenders for mine construction and production will be floated during the month.
The company, earlier this month, had also announced its plans to spend Rs 5,500 crore as capex for expanding production capacity over the next six years. Of this, around 50 per cent will be funded through internal accruals, Rs 1,200 crore through equity and the remaining through debt, said Sharma. By 2024, the copper producer plans to achieve a turnover of Rs10,000 crore, up from its turnover of Rs 1,700 crore in FY18.
Meanwhile, HCL reported a threefold rise in standalone profit, which stood at Rs 35.26 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, as compared to Rs10.21 crore in the year-ago period. Its net sales stood at Rs 397.69 crore, while the EBIDTA margin was at 29 per cent.
During the quarter, mine production in terms of copper content was 8,641 tonne, up 22 per cent, against 7,110 tonne in the corresponding period of the previous year.
HCL is eyeing a turnover of I10,000 crore by FY24 through capacity expansion. It plans to spend I5,500 crore to expand production capacity by six times to 20 mtpa by that year.