InoxGFL group's flagship company Gujarat Fluorochemicals (GFL), a leader in Fluorine chemistry, is going to invest ₹4500-5000 crore in next three years in electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers.
GFL's integrated battery chemicals complex coming up at Dahej is nearing completion. The first phase will produce LiPF6, a key electrolyte salt to make lithium-ion batteries, with an initial capacity of 1,800 tonnes per annum (tpa). It starts production in the next 40-60 days, Devansh Jain, Group Executive Director of InoxGFL group and son of Group Chairman Vivek Jain tells Fortune India. In the next two phases over 3-4 years, the capacity will be further enhanced as demand increases for lithium-ion batteries.
"This will be over and above the ₹2,500 crore we invested in enhancing various capacities and new facilities we set up in GFL in the last 2-3 years. The EV battery chain opportunity across the globe is estimated to be $300 Billion by 2030. We have the first mover advantage from India and can compete with any global players," says Devansh Jain. About a dozen companies are planning to set up EV battery manufacturing plants in India over the next few years.
In the EV battery segment, GFL plans to make PVDF electrode binders (an important material to make higher performance lithium ion batteries), battery chemicals, LiPF6, additives and electrolyte formulations from the integrated battery complex. GFL has already developed PVDF grades for cathode binder application. The company is talking to both battery makers and vehicle OEMs for supplies in India and across the globe.
In solar, GFL is setting up India's first PVDF Film plant for solar panels, which will be commissioned in the next financial year. GFL has integrated PVDF manufacturing facilities and solar panels contain back-sheets based on PVDF film, which is one of the most important raw materials to make solar panels.
GFL has an inherent advantage in new areas like green hydrogen, says Devansh Jain. Electrolysers enable the transformation of renewable energy such as wind and solar power into green hydrogen and fluoropolymers are integral to the functioning of electrolysers. In addition, fluoropolymer-based proton exchange membranes (PEM) form the heart of fuel cells and electrolysers. The company is developing its own PEMs to tap the upcoming green hydrogen opportunity, says Devansh Jain.
"GFL is well placed to increase its revenues on the back of its significant exposure to new-age industries of battery, solar and green hydrogen. It aspires to double the revenue in next three years and maintain an EBITDA margin at 30-35% at least," says an ICICI Securities report.
GFL, which nearly doubled its turnover since FY2019, projects revenue of nearly Rs 6000 crore in FY23, says Devansh Jain. GFL's revenues in FY 19 were ₹2,729 crore. FY22 revenues were ₹3,954 crore and for 9M FY23 it did ₹4,213 crore at 35% growth over previous year.
The century-old Inox group was amicably bifurcated between patriarch Devendra Jain's two sons - Pavan and Vivek in December 2021. While industrial gas and multiplex business went to Pavan Jain, Vivek Jain got GFL and renewable businesses. Now InoxGFL group has three listed companies with revenues of ₹5,305.26 crore for the nine months ended FY2023 and a market capitalisation of ₹37,166.93 crore as of 31st March 2023.