Hindalco Industries Limited, led by Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, revealed its collaboration with Indian Railways to invest approximately ₹2,000 crore in bringing new extrusion and fabrication technologies to India. This announcement was made during the company’s 64th annual general meeting (AGM).
Birla expressed excitement about partnering with Indian Railways and the passenger coach manufacturing ecosystem for the ambitious high-speed Vande Bharat trains. The planned investment of ₹2,000 crore will support this project, and technology tie-ups are in place to introduce innovative extrusion and fabrication technologies in India.
Highlighting Indian Railways’ twin goals of achieving net-zero carbon emissions while doubling freight capacity, Birla emphasized Hindalco’s commitment to supporting the railway’s carbon reduction objectives. He revealed that the company intends to introduce three additional designs of freight wagons in the coming months, targeting specific end-use applications such as bagged cement and food grains.
Another significant investment of ₹2,000 crore has been earmarked for the establishment of a first-of-its-kind copper and e-wastes recycling facility. Birla underscored the importance of introducing advanced metal extraction and refining technologies domestically to address the export of e-waste to other nations. This move aligns with Hindalco’s commitment to India’s circular economy agenda.
In the realm of electric vehicles (EVs), Hindalco is collaborating closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to co-develop and manufacture critical components. These components include battery enclosures, motor housings, busbars, structural and safety elements, and lightweight load bodies. Birla highlighted the company’s projects for battery foils, coated aluminum fins, and aerospace-grade extrusions, positioning Hindalco as an ideal partner for multiple industries and their new product development initiatives.
Birla also discussed the company’s capital allocation for 2021, mentioning that Hindalco is investing $4.63 billion as capital expenditure for Novelis and its Indian business. He highlighted growth projects underway for Novelis in the US, South Korea, and Brazil to meet the rising demand for sustainable aluminum products. Additionally, Hindalco’s India business has ongoing high-growth downstream projects in areas such as e-mobility, packaging, building and construction, consumer durables, and resource securitization.
Birla attributed the increase in private capital expenditure to government-led infrastructure investments and policies like the production-linked incentives scheme. He emphasized India’s potential to play a pivotal role as global corporations adopt strategies such as the “China+1” approach.
Despite these expansions, Hindalco continues its efforts to deleverage, maintaining a net debt-to-EBITDA ratio well below two times as of the fiscal year 2022-23. In the June quarter, the company reported a 40% decline in net profit compared to the previous year, with revenues declining by 9% due to challenging market conditions.