- Glamour World
Udaipur, Hindustan Zinc will ramp up production of zinc - that is used in batteries to medicines - to 1.5 million tonnes, chairperson Priya Agarwal Hebbar said on Thursday as she looked to make India's largest zinc producer as one of the best firms in the world.
Speaking at the company's annual shareholders meeting, she said when the economic history of 21st century India is written, the turnaround story of Hindustan Zinc will have a chapter of its own.
Incorporated as a public sector firm in 1996, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government in August 2002 sold a controlling stake in the firm to Vedanta group firm Sterlite Industries for around Rs 769 crore.
Hindustan Zinc is today the second largest zinc-lead miner in the world after Swiss firm Glencore and the fourth largest zinc-lead smelter globally. It has now also broken into the top 10 list of silver producers in the world.
The profitability has grown manyfold and so has its production capacity of zinc, lead and silver - from 0.2 million tonnes per annum in 2002 to 1.1 million tonnes.
"And we are not done yet. We remain hungry, we are capable, and we are motivated. Hindustan Zinc is a leader in the industry in India. One day, we will also be among the best companies in the world," she said.
Stating that zinc will play a key role in India's growth story, she said at least 3-4 per cent growth in the sector is expected and HZL plans to ramp up its production from 1 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
She however did not give a timeframe.
"Our growth efforts include expansion of capacities, maintaining a portfolio of mines with long life, strengthen cost leadership, expansion of product portfolio through customer centricity and progressing towards sustainable future," she said.
She said investing in technology for maximum metal recovery, and digitization of mining and smelting operations helped achieve the highest-ever mined metal production in the first quarter at 257,000 tonnes.
"These achievements are just the beginning, and I am looking forward to us together breaking many production records," she said.
HZL, she said, has been leading by example not only in production but also in accomplishing ESG goals.
"We are the first company in the country to introduce battery-operated EVs in underground mining. Today, our Pantnagar Metal Plant is powered 100 per cent by renewable energy, and with our solar and wind projects accounting for 180 MW and 250 MW respectively, HZL will reduce its coal dependency by 50 per cent by 2025," she said.
HZL has set 2030 as the target date to achieve net zero carbon emissions, ahead of parent Vedanta Group's goal of 2050.
"I am confident that we will accomplish many more milestones, sustainably and efficiently. Our core strengths, experience and expertise will help us maximise the opportunities for growth available to us while opening new vistas of expansion for the company.
"Capacity expansion, volume growth, better operational and financial performance, and enhanced value creation for all stakeholders will be the key areas of focus for us," she added.
Commenting on the demand growth of Zinc, Arun Misra CEO Hindustan Zincsaid, “Indian market demand for Zinc is set to go up by 4% from 3.8% of the previous fiscal with a steady rise in the usage of galvanized steel by various sectors, especially the Railways which has been consuming about 18%. The overall infrastructure growth and research & and development (R&D) in the defence sector will only increase the need for metals in manufacturing specialized high-grade components. With the rise in demand for galvanized steel, the demand for zinc will certainly rise consequently. Today, India is on the cusp of a major metal revolution, and Hindustan Zinc will certainly be a part of it."