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Vedanta acquires Goa-based nickel and cobalt producer Nicomet

India’s demand for nickel is pegged at 45 kilo tonnes per annum (KTPA) which is entirely met through imports
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 21.12.21, 02:29 AM

Vedanta has acquired Nicomet, a leading nickel and cobalt producer based in Goa, for an undisclosed amount.

The Anil Agarwal-company has become the only nickel producer in the country.

“India imports 100 per cent of its nickel requirements and our focus will be to boost domestic production that would fuel India’s transition to a net zero economy,” Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta, said.

He said: “We are excited about Vedanta’s foray into nickel and cobalt production which will play a critical role in supporting the government’s mission for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Nickel and cobalt are a metal of great strategic importance, especially for our transition towards clean energy and electric mobility.”

The asset has been acquired under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), so it does not require CCI (Competition Commission of India) approval, analysts said.

The acquisition comes at a time the nickel market is tightening with a surge in battery demand and an increase in global stainless-steel production, a trend that is expected to continue into 2022, the mining company said.

Nickel, a strategic mineral, is a vital input in the manufacturing of stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Similarly, cobalt is a key element for lithium-ion batteries for EVs, energy storage systems and has other uses like superalloy for steelmaking. Both nickel and cobalt are regarded as the minerals of the future for a transition to renewable and cleaner energy.

India’s demand for nickel is put at 45 kilo tonnes per annum (KTPA) which is entirely met through imports. At present, Nicomet’s plant has a capacity to produce 7.5 KTPA nickel and cobalt. With an ambitious growth plan in place, Vedanta is well poised to meet 50 per cent of the country’s total nickel demand.

The Nicomet acquisition is in line with Vedanta’s ESG mission and will support India’s carbon neutrality goals, said Vedanta.

Certified with ISO 9001 for quality and with strong R&D focus, Nicomet has emerged as a certified producer of high-quality battery grade Nickel Sulphate Crystals used for manufacturing batteries of electric vehicles globally.

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