Strongest Case To Reopen Sterlite Copper Plant In Thoothukudi? India’s Demand For The Metal To Double By 2026The Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. (LiveMint)

The demand for copper could double from 650,000 tonnes to 1,433,000 tonnes by 2026, as claimed by Birla Copper’s CEO J C Laddha at ‘Asia Copper Conference’ in Shanghai.

Reuters quoted Laddha as saying, “If you add that, I think by 2026 the total consumption would be 25 lakh tonnes. India’s demand for overall copper has risen rapidly over the years and is expected to rise further as a result of various projects like ‘Make in India’ (and) infrastructure investment.”

Against the demand of 642,000 tonnes, India will be able to produce 843,000 tonnes of refined copper in 2018. But what reportedly goes missing here is the fact that the closure of Vedanta’s copper smelter affected the production of 400,000 tonnes of the metal.

Thus in 2019 India might be able to produce just 450,000 tonnes of the metal leading to the nation having to import the rest. It is hinted that the copper would come from ASEAN countries and Japan since these nations have a free trade agreement with India and the import duty will come down by a large margin, claimed the report.

Swarajya had earlier reported about the impact of Vedanta’s closure. The smelter had been ordered to be shut after severe protests followed over the pollution that allegedly impacted the environment and health. 13 people had been killed in a police firing.

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