Hindalco Industries, an Aditya Birla group company, foresees challenges from the import of cheap aluminium foils at zero per cent duty from free trade agreement countries.

The government recently removed anti-dumping duty on foil and the resulting cheap imports have hit the company’s packaging segment.

Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Industries, said the free trade agreement signed with UAE will open up imports at zero duty even as the Indian market is among the few bright spots as far as aluminium demand is concerned.

While the UAE has its own vibrant aluminium and copper industry, China uses Thailand to tap into the UAE, he said.

“Now, Oman is also close to signing an FTA with India. In all these FTAs we have requested the government not to include aluminium and copper, because it can affect the domestic industry,” said Pai.

The company has cut its capital expenditure from ₹5,000 crore to ₹4,500 crore for this fiscal and plans to spend ₹5,500 crore next fiscal.

Green energy push

Hindalco plans to have a thermal and green energy mix of 70:30 by 2030-end.

“We are adding another 50 MW of renewables this year,” he said.

The company has to decarbonise at one end, while also depend on buying captive coal at fixed cost rather than auctions, he added.

“We are counting on round-the-clock power renewables to get to low-carbon aluminium, which we require for many of our customers and export markets,” he added.

The company received a single-window clearance from the Odisha government for setting up manufacture of 30,000 tonnes of battery foil at Aditya Aluminium in Sambalpu. Electric vehicle batteries have aluminium and copper foils.