New Delhi, Dec 7 Expressing confidence in starting anode production—a key component in Lithium ion batteries—by 2025, The Advanced Carbons Company (TACC) expects to finalise land for setting up the manufacturing facility this month, its MD & CEO Ankur Khaitan said. In an interview to the businessline, Khaitan said the firm is scouting for land in Madhya Pradesh and a couple of states. TACC is a subsidiary of HEG, a LNJ Bhilwara group company. Excerpts:
How are your plans for setting up the anode manufacturing facility progressing?
We are in discussions with a couple of states to acquire 100 acres of land. The talks are in the final mode. In three weeks, we will officially come out with the details about land acquisition. Madhya Pradesh is a preferred destination, but we are also discussing with a couple more states. We have hands-on experience in graphite manufacturing technology and our R&D has been working to develop the process of anode manufacturing suitable for Lithium-ion batteries. We will be ready for production by April 2025.
What would be your capacity?
We intend to build TACC as a cutting- edge facility, where it would set up an anode plant with a production capacity of 20,000 tonnes per year. The building will have a specialised innovation centre for creating new carbon derivative materials, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, for use in green energy applications.
How do you plan to fund the proposed expansion? Have you tied up with the debt portion?
The investment would come through a mix of debt and equity. The company will invest around ₹2,000 crore in two phases. The company will invest ₹ 1,000 crore immediately to build a facility to manufacture 10,000 tonnes of graphite to cater to 10-11 gigawatt hour (GWh) of battery capacity. Meanwhile, we are diversifying our portfolio to include other products of carbon and graphite like anode for lithium-ion batteries.
What is the size of the domestic anode market?
India has enormous potential for large-scale battery production; it is anticipated that by 2030, the country’s annual market for stationary and mobile batteries will have surpassed $15 billion, with a demand increase of 260 GWh. Only China and Japan are the major producers of anode materials at the moment. More than 90 per cent of the market is controlled by businesses in these two nations. Niti Aayog gives figures like 260 gigawatt hours (GWh) would be the requirement of the cell capacity. One GWh is almost equal to 1,000 tonnes of anode, so one can calculate the requirement in India. Going by the PLI scheme, the requirement is about 50 GWh, which translates into 50,000 tonnes of anode. So the Indian market is looking very promising in the years to come. Currently there is no cell production in India and all cells are imported.
What is your market share? How do you plan to further fortify your share?
Since we have just entered the business of anode manufacturing, we do not have the numbers to support us as of now, but the investment will be made in two phases. The company aims to finish both the phases in the next 5-7 years.
What percentage of your revenue comes from exports now? Will it go up following expansion?
Our new venture is completely focused on Atmanirbhar Bharat. We expect our anode production to start from 2025 and the first priority will be to cater to Indian cell manufacturer’s requirements. We expect our revenue to go up as there will be an increased demand in the domestic market. India right now is at a nascent stage of creating a domestic cell manufacturing ecosystem, However, we are positive that Indian requirement in next 2-3 years will go up. Current Indian requirement of lithium ion batteries is 20 GW corresponding to around 20,000 tonnes of graphite anode. This is expected to grow to 50 GW in 2025 and 260 GW by 2030, this would require a humungous capacity of around 50,000 tonnes of anode demand in India alone by 2025. To simplify, we will be able to cater to 2-3 lakh EV cars from our phase 1 expansion (against a demand of about 10 lakh cars in India by 2025).
What kind of support do you expect from the government for further growth of the industry?
The government is taking initiatives to promote lithium-ion battery manufacturing with the PLI scheme which requires more than 60 per cent domestication to get eligible for this. So schemes like these certainly fuel the growth of the industry.