Chennai-based Munoth Industries (MIL) will start trial runs at its Rs 799 crore lithium-ion cell manufacturing plant at Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh from September 16. Initially, the company will be producing lithium-ion cells for the consumer electronics segment and will, later on, cater to the energy storage system and EV segments.
Jaswant Munoth, vice chairman of MIL, told select media persons that the company has undertaken some trials in China about six months ago. The commercial production and formal opening of the facility are slated for mid-October and will be inaugurated by Union minister of state for electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Friday. The new facility entails an investment of Rs 799 crore in three phases.
In the first phase, it will produce cells for consumer electronics such as mobile phones, hearable and wearable devices, followed by an energy storage system and two-and-three wheel electric vehicles. The factory is located on a 30-acre plot with a built-up area of 15,000 square meters.
“It is the first lithium cell manufacturing facility, developed and operated by an Indian firm. In the first phase, we will invest `165 crore to produce 20,000 cells of 10Ah capacity daily and employ about 250 people,” Munoth said. According to him, MIL has tied up with China-based Tianjin Lishen, BPI and Amprius for technology and the end product will be supplied to boAt, Amazon Basic, Xiaomi and Ambrane.
Munoth said that currently India imports Rs 15,000 crore-Rs 20,000 crore of lithium-ion cells from China, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong. With the establishment of the new facility, it would take care of 60% of India’s requirements and in the next two phases, MIL will cater to the energy storage system and EV segment. The civil works will start on March 23 and September 23 respectively. The company will quickly set up phase 2 to cater to the energy storage system and phase 3 to cater to the EV segment with further investments of `635 crore.
“After the completion of the third phase, MIL will be a 1.25 GWh firm employing 800 people. We are planning to hit the capital market by mid-2024. Besides, we will also lay a strong focus on R&D to supply technology to other firms to make cells,” he said.
The company expects to garner a turnover of Rs 400 crore to Rs 450 crore in its first year of operations and eye break-even in four to five years. “We will be touching a turnover of Rs 2,000 crore by 2024,” Munoth said.
Munoth group is also in capital market activities since 1994 through its company Munoth Financial Services and is registered with Sebi as a merchant banker, stock broker, depository participant and portfolio manager. In the telecom space, the group was a national/regional distributor of Siemens, Motorola, Nokia and DBTel mobile phones and also sold mobile phone accessories under its brand name.