Jindal Aluminium investing in R&D to expand applications, as India has explored only 300 of 3,000 global applications; company vice chair anticipates Indian government to reduce import duty on primary aluminum, says 5% reduction would stabilize pricing

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June 28, 2023 (press release) –

Aluminium is the second- most widely consumed metal today and Jindal Aluminium, in order to push the application of aluminium in various sectors, is investing in R&D for newer applications of the metal, said Pragun Khaitan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Jindal Aluminium. While there are approximately 3,000 technological applications of aluminium globally across various industries, India has explored only about 300 so far and despite having sufficient production capacity, the country remains one of the largest importers of aluminium in the world. For India’s potential in the sector to grow, the country “should implement legislative measures that incentivise the development of the downstream aluminium industry”. “Also, custom duty levies need some changes which are affecting our sector. We can ensure that we have a steady supply of raw materials at fair rates by revising the enforcement of customs duties,” said Pragun Khaitan.

The company is focusing on innovation and R&D to reduce expenses and to even streamline its processes and minimize waste, resulting in cost savings. Further, he said, “We expect the government to reduce the import duty on primary aluminium. We believe that by reducing import duty on primary aluminium to 5 per cent will stabilise pricing and strengthen the overall aluminium industry in India.”

How is the company performing currently, and what is your outlook for this fiscal year?

We have had a good year, given the various global challenges. Jindal Aluminium posted an annual revenue of over Rs 4000 crore illustrating the success of our core beliefs and performance, of which we are proud. As this fiscal year begins, a significant portion of our R&D budget will be committed to product innovation and development. This budget will enable us to remain competitive and ahead of the curve in the market. Already, our production capacity has reached 1,85,600 MTPA. We intend to grow the production capacity further and focus on expanding into other markets. Also, we are channelizing our efforts towards capacity building of our Bhiwadi facility to strengthen our presence in the region and increase our ability to offer our customers high-quality products. To broaden our reach, we plan to add more dealers nationwide. Now we are primarily concerned with advancing technology, enhancing productivity, and controlling manufacturing costs.

How are you optimising the prices and reducing costs? How are margins being affected due to rising costs?

We are continually concentrating on innovation to reduce expenses as a business, without compromising on quality. By using new technology and exploring more effective methods of operation, we aim to streamline our processes and minimize waste, resulting in cost savings. In terms of input costs, the higher aluminium ingot prices quoted by upstream aluminium producers is affecting the entire downstream aluminium business. Rising costs brought on by these prices affect our profit margins. We expect the government to reduce the import duty on primary aluminium. We believe that by reducing import duty on primary aluminium to 5 per cent will stabilise pricing and strengthen the overall aluminium industry in India.

What are the significant challenges for the industry right now?

The sector is currently dealing with several significant challenges. Matching the average global consumption pattern of 11 kg per capita is one of these challenges. India presently has a per capita consumption of 2.5 kg, which is less in comparison, but shows potential to grow. For this, we must compete internationally and boost our domestic aluminium use. To accomplish this growth, we should implement legislative measures that incentivise the development of the downstream aluminium industry. Also, custom duty levies need some changes which are affecting our sector. We can ensure that we have a steady supply of raw materials at fair rates by revising the enforcement of customs duties.

What are your production capacities across your plants? Tell us about your expansion plans.

Our current manufacturing capacity across all our facilities is 1.85 million metric tonnes per annum, including extrusion and flat-rolled products. We are focussing on the Bhiwadi facility for future capacity expansion and plan to invest in this plant to produce more and better products. In addition to boosting our production capacity, we are expanding our business reach by adding new dealers, unlocking India’s untapped regions. Expanding our dealership network will allow us to provide our clients in these regions with access to our high-quality products and services.

Tell us about your international as well as domestic presence. Are you planning on expanding your reach to newer markets?

We have a dominant share of India’s extrusion market and are the country’s largest manufacturer. With India as our key market, more than 45 nations benefit from our exports, proving our worldwide influence.

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