Adani Enterprises—controlled by Gautam Adani and his family—is pushing ahead with plans to build India’s largest copper refinery as the world’s second most populous nation seeks to reduce its reliance on metal imports.
The conglomerate—which also has interests in airports, edible oils, ports, renewable energy and toll roads—said in a regulatory filing on Sunday that its unit Kutch Copper has raised 60.7 billion rupees ($775 million) in loans from a syndicate of banks led by the State Bank of India. Proceeds will be used to accelerate the construction of a greenfield copper refining plant in Gujarat, Adani’s home state in western India.
“Kutch Copper aims to create the capacity for production of refined copper, which plays a vital role in strengthening the nation’s shift towards electric vehicles and renewables,” Vinay Prakash, director of Adani Enterprises said in a statement. “The project has requisite technology tied up and construction works at the site are progressing well and is scheduled to commence production during the first half of 2024.”
When completed, the plant can process one million tonnes of copper per year and help reduce the country’s imports. That will make Kutch Copper India’s largest copper refinery, overtaking billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Hindalco Industries, currently the country’s top producer of the metal.
Adani is the founder and chairman of Adani Group, which has six publicly listed companies in India, including Adani Enterprises. He and his family have a current net worth of $99.2 billion, placing him at No. 6 on the World’s Real-Time Billionaires List, just ahead of Larry Ellison and Warren Buffet.
His entrepreneurial journey began in 1988 when he started a commodities export firm after dropping out of college and spurning his father’s textile shop. The owner of India’s largest port in Gujarat, Adani first joined the billionaire ranks in 2008, with an estimated net worth of $9.3 billion, but really began to gain momentum at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, after a period of aggressive expansion into renewable energy, media, airports and more.
Adani has said he wants to become the world’s largest producer of green energy, with a goal of investing up to $70 billion into renewable energy projects.