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EVs, full time power to spur copper demand in India - ICAI

Metal News - Published on Wed, 03 Jan 2018

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The Hindu reported that India’s demand for copper is set to rise spurred among other factors by the government’s policies favoring electric vehicles to displace fossil fuel driven vehicles by 2030; and enabling the provision of round the clock power to all. International Copper Association India said that current demand for copper in India, estimated at 970 kilotonnes, is expected to reach 1,812 kt by FY26. The electrical sector accounts for 56% of total demand.

Currently, only 50% of the copper demand is met through supply from domestic refined copper producers while 30% is met through imports. The rest comes from recycled copper. Based on the planned capacity additions, total capacity for refined copper in India is expected to increase from 1,000 kt to 1,400 kt against a total copper demand of 1,812 kt.

ICAI said that “Out of the total copper demand, 40% is expected to be met through supply from domestic refined copper producers with the rest expected to be met through imports. There exists a potential gap of 230 kt.” Mr Sanjeev Ranjan, MD, ICAI said that “The persistent push from the government on increasing the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix and their intent to have a majority of vehicles on road as EVs by 2030 will create demand.”

Mr Ranjan said that Power ministry’s drive towards ‘electricity for all 24x7’ and the urban development ministry’s move to develop smart cities, along with policies for housing are proving to be “a boon for the copper industry in India.”

These factors will help raise demand for copper for building wires, power cables and winding wires for high efficiency motors and transformers; in the renewed thrust for and usage in high-efficiency products including appliances and air conditioners; for use in e-vehicles for their powertrains as well as for charging infrastructure, he said.

The industry also faces many challenges. Mr Ranjan said that “Government needs to reconsider Free Trade Agreements that have lowered barriers for export and raised custom duty for downstream products so that it does not hurt domestic industry. Another challenge is the high capital cost. Interest rates in India are very high [8-9%] as compared to European countries [1%].”

Mr Ranjan said that high volatility in price of copper was also a big challenge. Mr Ranjan added that “Higher level of volatility has direct impact on business margins of the industry.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 03 Jan 2018
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