Having so far invested around $33 billion in India, mainly in the natural resources space, NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources has chalked out plans to pump another around $9 billion into the country over the next three years to enhance capacity across sectors such as copper, zinc, aluminium, iron ore, steel and oil & gas. The group’s hydrocarbon exploration arm, Cairn India, will invest $2-2.5 billion, to be followed by $2 billion each in the aluminium and steel sectors, Agarwal told FE in an interview.
Cairn India is the largest private oil and gas producer of the country with 30% share, which it plans to increase to 50% through the proposed investment. Agarwal said the company has submitted expressions of interest for 15 fields – a combination of onshore and offshore fields – being put up for exploration under the the Open Access Licensing Policy.
While in the aluminium sector, the plan is to take the smelting capacity to 3 million tonne per annum (MTPA) from 2 MTPA now; the proposed $2 billion will go into setting up of a 2 MTPA steel plant at Manoharpur in Jharkhand. The natural resources major will also spend $1 billion in the iron ore sector, Agarwal said. Vedanta is already a dominant player in this segment being the number one in the private sector in terms of production. An additional $1 billion, he added, would go into the copper business where the plan is to double the existing capacity.
In its zinc business, through Hindustan Zinc, the company proposes to invest $1 billion for ramping up the production capacity to 1.5 MTPA in the next three years.
Stating that the proposed investments will create at least 10 lakh jobs in the country, both directly and indirectly, the billionaire businessman said he would continue to invest in India out of his love and commitment for the country.
Upbeat about the India’s economy, Agarwal said the country will continue to grow even at a higher clip in coming years. India’s GDP grew by 6.3% in the September quarter, compared with 5.7% in the previous quarter. The country recently jumped 30 places to be ranked 100th in the latest ease of doing business list.