Billionaire Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta group has acquired Goa-based Nicomet, a leading nickel and cobalt producer. The acquisition is in line with Vedanta’s ESG mission and is a big step towards supporting India’s carbon neutrality goals.
With this acquisition, Vedanta has become the country’s sole producer of nickel, the company said in a statement. “The move is a significant step in Vedanta’s mission towards making India self-reliant in key critical minerals,” it said.
Nickel, a strategic mineral, is a vital input in the manufacturing of stainless steel and batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Cobalt is a key element for lithium-ion battery for EVs, energy storage systems and has other uses like super alloy for steel making. Both nickel and cobalt are regarded as the minerals of the future which will play a leading role in transition to renewable and cleaner energy.
“We are excited about Vedanta’s foray into nickel and cobalt production which will play a critical role in supporting government’s mission for an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Nickel and cobalt are a metal of great strategic importance, especially for our transition towards clean energy and electric mobility.
“Currently, India imports 100 per cent of its nickel requirements; our focus will be to boost domestic production that would fuel India’s transition to a net zero economy,” Vedanta Chairman Anil Agarwal said.
In recent years, the value of the country’s nickel and cobalt import has been growing steadily. With Vedanta’s foray into production of these critical minerals, India will be in a better position to manufacture EV batteries, the main component for EV vehicles and support production of high-quality steel products, a key building block for infrastructure growth.
Nicomet has emerged as a certified producer of high-quality battery grade nickel sulphate crystals used for manufacturing of batteries of electric vehicles globally. Nicomet marks a major strategic acquisition for Vedanta and is expected to strengthen its portfolio of iron and steel business. The acquisition comes at a time when the nickel market is tightening with a surge in battery demand and an increase in global stainless-steel production in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue in 2022.