Indian copper consumers urge the Tamil Nadu state government to resolve issues with the Vedanta-owned Sterlite copper plant in Tuticorin. The plant which has an annual capacity to cater to 40pc of India’s copper consumption is closed since May 2018 on environmental concerns. Multiple industry bodies including electronics manufacturers, compressor makers have urged the government to restart the plant.
Copper prices have been in an uptrend since the easing of the COVID-19 lockdowns and small and micro industries in India are suffering due to high imported copper prices amid supply disruptions. Since October copper prices have surged to Rs500-600/kg, said Muthuraj Raveendran, President, Compressor Component Suppliers Associations (CCSA) to local media, which is currently at Rs735/kg. The cost of manufacturing has spiked drastically in the past few months rued component makers.
Local industry bodies representing motor and pump manufacturers in Tamil Nadu have called for government intervention and requested the state to reconsider the decision to permanently shut down the copper plant in Tuticorin. Industry participants believe indigenous copper production will help small industries recover from the economic impact of the pandemic as imports are unworkable for small producers.