Much before the PLI scheme was announced, Vikram Handa, the son-in-law of billionaire steel tycoon Sajjan Jindal, announced an investment of more than $800 million in Epsilon Advanced Materials Pvt ltd, which will be India’s first manufacturer components for lithium-ion batteries, in August last year.
The plant will produce 100,000 tonnes of synthetic graphite anode by 2030, about 10 per cent of the global demand. These anodes, which make up 25 per cent of a cell’s components, are the negative electrode in li-ion batteries. At present, China has a near monopoly over this material and accounts for 80 per cent of global supplies.
Once it goes on stream, Handa’s plant will transform India from a battery minerals exporter to a major global battery materials centre that could, over time, even challenge China’s dominance in this field.
Once the PLI scheme takes off, this trend is expected to gather fresh momentum.