In FY18, Hindalco prepaid close to Rs 8,000 crore of long-term project loans in India.
Hindalco Industries’ fourth captive coal mine at Dumri may become operational by March 2019, the company’s chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said at the 59th annual general meeting held in Mumbai, on Friday.
Highlighting the coal linkages, Birla said that Hindalco has secured around 3.2 million tonne of coal in the linkage auctions that concluded during FY18. With this, the total quantity of secured coal via linkages reached to 11.9 million tonne, and accounts for 71% of the annual coal requirements of the company. The overall annual requirement of coal is currently secured at more than 90%, through long-term linkages and captive mines, he said.
“Currently, three captive mines viz. Gare Palma IV/4, Gare Palma IV/5 and Kathautia are operational. The fourth captive mine at Dumri is in the process of obtaining necessary statutory clearances. It will hopefully be operational by the end of FY19,” he added.
In FY18, Hindalco has prepaid close to `8,000 crore of long-term project loans in India. This has led to an improvement in the consolidated net debt to Ebitda, which stood at below 3x as on March 31, 2018.
On the outlook for the future, Birla said the company has a strong focus on strengthening the balance sheet through deleveraging, allocation of capex towards growth strategies and generating positive free cash flows. It will also continue to increase its share in the value added product segment in both the aluminium and copper businesses.
“The company is focusing on enriching its product mix. It is evaluating investments in aluminium downstream facilities towards newer products and its existing product lines. On the domestic front, demand is expected to recover significantly in FY19. There seems to be surge in industrial activities in the core sectors, which bodes well for us. The power, packaging and transport sectors are the demand drivers of aluminium domestically in the coming years,” he said.
In the copper business, Birla said the newly-commissioned continuous copper cast rod plant CCR-3 should ramp up in FY19. With this, Hindalco’s rod capacity rises to about 80% of the cathode production, from the earlier 33%, which will enable the company to cater to the growing demand of copper rods in the domestic market.
However, he highlighted that concerns on the import of aluminium and copper continue to hurt the domestic aluminium and copper industries.