After announcing its first mega semiconductor plant in Gujarat, Vedanta has said it'll look at creating an Apple iPhone and TV equipment manufacturing hub in Maharashtra. Mining magnate and Vedanta chairman Anil Agarwal revealed this during a TV interview on Wednesday while saying that his company plans to enter the electric vehicle space too.
Vedanta's announcement came after a global news agency this week claimed the Tata group was also in talks with Taiwanese electronics giant Wistron to make Apple iPhones in India. These developments are expected to pave way for large-scale electronics manufacturing in India, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign. With initiatives like PLI (production linked incentive) scheme, the country is redrawing its strategy to reduce dependence on the neighbouring country China and present itself as an alternative to global giants like Apple.
The Vedanta stock opened a 4.24% gap-up to rise to the intra-day high of ₹320.9 (5.06%) from the previous session close of ₹305.60 on the NSE. The Mumbai-based company's shares jumped by over 13% on Wednesday, as the company announced a big semiconductor and glass display plant in Gujarat. The stock has been on an upward rally for the past six days and has risen 17.48% in the period. It has surged 18.55% in the past month.
In its first major step after inking a joint venture with Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturer Hon Hai Technology Group, also known as Foxconn, Vedanta chose Gujarat for its first ₹1.54 lakh crore semiconductor plant.
Explaining the rationale behind choosing the state over other competitors like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, Agarwal says their team of internal and external professional agencies decided on Gujarat a few months ago, as the state met the company's expectations. "But in July meeting with Maharashtra leadership, they made a huge effort to outbid other states with a competitive offer. We have to start in one place & based on professional & independent advice we chose Gujarat," he tweeted on Wednesday.
The multibillion-dollar long-term investment will change the course of Indian electronics, he adds. "We will create a pan-India ecosystem & are fully committed to investing in Maharashtra as well. Maharashtra will be our key to forward integration in our Gujarat JV," he says.
The JV project will likely generate around 1 lakh direct jobs. The project, which will include display and semiconductor facilities, was approved after the company received financial and non-financial subsidies from the government, in terms of land, power and water supply, as per a global news agency.
Vedanta holds the majority of the equity in the JV, while Foxconn is the minority shareholder. Anil Agarwal is the chairman of the JV company. The collaboration is the first JV in the electronics manufacturing space in India after the government’s policy announcement for electronics manufacturing and a PLI scheme for incentivising organisations to contribute toward the development of this sector.
Additionally, Vedanta says it has been declared as the highest bidder for Ghogharpalli and its Dip Extension coal block in Sundargarh district, Odisha, under Tranche V of the commercial coal block auction conducted by the coal ministry. The coal block is an optimal fit for the company’s Jharsuguda smelter, given its logistical location and annual capacity.
The mine has total reserves of 1,288 million tonnes and an estimated per annum capacity of 20 million tonnes. Once operational, it will provide fuel security, improve power availability and further strengthen the company’s aluminium operations and performance, says Vedanta.