Himadri Speciality Chemical Ltd. is focusing on strengthening its capabilities to serve the EV battery raw material market to cater to the rising demand for EVs in India and globally.

Electric vehicles are at an inflection point with technological shift, soaring fuel prices, and environmental impact due to fuel emission from vehicles. EVs have seen a quick adaptability by customers, and major automobile manufacturers have been driving towards production of such vehicles.

The ₹2,790 crore Himadri Speciality is aligned with this transition and is building a robust portfolio for the same, the company said in its annual report.

Demand for EVs

As the demand for electric vehicles grows, so will the demand for lithium-ion batteries. The success of remodeled FAME II has led to the growing penetration of EVs, with the annual demand for EV batteries in India expected to exceed 135 GWh/year by 2030.

“India has a vast potential for large scale battery manufacturing, and it is expected that the country’s annual market for stationary and mobile batteries could surpass $15 billion by 2030, and in demand terms, it is expected to rise to 160 GWh. The production-link incentive program announced by the government is one such initiative that bolsters this market. It would also provide an incentive to boost the manufacturing capacity of batteries in India. With this development, the company is poised to cater to the rising demand for the raw materials to be used in battery manufacturing,” it said.

As global economies move towards an accelerated recovery, the company will be revamping its portfolio to include niche products with higher efficiency while also exploring new businesses, it added.

Demand for raw materials

The company manufactures coal tar pitch, carbon black, advanced carbon material, sulphonated naphthalene formaldehyde, and Polycarboxylate Ether (PCE), among others.  

The largest driver for the coal tar pitch market globally is the rising demand for aluminium. The infrastructure push from the government with various projects like rail transport network, dedicated freight corridors, high-speed railway tracks, affordable housing projects, and low-cost power transmission, among others, is helping in advancing the steel-consuming business, thereby, resulting in higher steel demand.

To cater the surge in demand, manufacturers around the world need to produce more volumes of steel, eventually leading to a rise in demand for graphite electrodes in electric arc furnaces. Graphite electrodes are made of binder-graded coal tar pitch, calcined needle coke, and impregnation grade CTP. As a cascading effect of healthy growth in end-user industries, the growth of CTP looks promising in the near future.

The Indian automobile industry is flourishing with growth drivers such as a rise in middle class income and a growing young population. The Indian government’s focus on increasing production, complemented with favourable government programmes such as the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ and product-linked incentive schemes for automobiles and auto components—to stimulate automotive manufacture in the country—will help the tyre sector to flourish. Hence, boosting demand in the carbon black market, it said.

“The current global situation has led to huge supply chain disruption, which has brought both challenges and opportunities. In this dynamic environment, we have strengthened our operations to improve profitability and stabilise earnings in our core Coal Tar Pitch and Carbon Black businesses. We are on a growth trajectory and expect to continue to be on the same,” it said.